Back to School Health Tips from the CDC

3 min read | Posted on September 9, 2018

CDC Healthy Schools offers many resources for parents. Discover ways to help your kids get a healthy start to the school year.

As summer comes to a close, there is always a lot to be done to get kids ready to go back to school. Parents, help your kids have a great school year by making sure they are healthy and ready to learn – because healthy students are better learners. CDC has tips and resources to help. Read on for more information!

School Nutrition

Most US children consume almost half of their calories at school. That makes school a great place to foster healthy eating habits and behavior. CDC has information for parents about how to get involved in supporting school nutrition. Check out this fact sheet on School Nutrition Environment and Services.[1.58 MB]

Physical Education and Physical Activity in School

US children spend six to eight hours a day at school. That creates many opportunities for students to be physically active, which is important because experts recommend children get 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Find out more about ways your child can stay active at school with this fact sheet on Physical Activity.[1.6 MB]

It is also important for students to get physical education designed to develop motor skills, knowledge, and behaviors for physical activity and physical fitness. These can help your kids gain the ability to stay physically active for their entire life time. Physical education can contribute to the one hour of physical activity kids should get each day. Learn more about how you can help with this fact sheet on Physical Education.[1.98 MB]

Girl hugging mother goodbye before boarding school busCDC has many resources to help parents give their kids a healthy start to the new school year.

School Health Services

Approximately 25% of children ages 2-8 years old in the United States are affected by health issues, such as asthma, obesity, other physical conditions, or behavior/learning problems. For these students, School Health Services staff can play a large role in daily and emergency care during the school day. Health services can help reduce the number of days your child has to stay home from school and miss valuable instruction time.  Read more about how you can get involved with this fact sheet on School Health Services.[2.36 MB] Listen to this podcast to learn more about the importance of school health services.

Oral Health

Tooth decay (cavities) is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood in the United States. Children with poor oral health (cavities, gum disease) often miss more school and receive lower grades than children who have better oral health. Don’t forget to include a dental check-up in your back-to-school plans. Need to find a dentist? Use the Insure Kids Now Dentist Locator.

Virtual Healthy School

CDC’s new, interactive learning tool, the Virtual Healthy School, lets parents take a tour (guided by “Principal Paul”) of the classrooms, playground, cafeteria, gymnasium, nurse’s office, and more. Each room shows the ways that school staff create a healthier school through large and small changes.

BAM! Body and Mind

CDC doesn’t just provide resources for parents. BAM! Body and Mind is an online health resource for teachers and kids ages 9–12 that provides information through games, quizzes, the Dining Decisions mobile app, and other interactive activities.

Research shows that the health of students is linked to their academic achievement. It is important for parents to make sure they are giving their kids a healthy start to the school year. Visit the Parents for Healthy Schools website for a comprehensive look at how parents can play a powerful role in supporting their children’s learning.



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