Subject: Healthy Schools Connection Newsletter- October 2016

NWHU School Calendar

For a month-by-month look at the services NWHU provides across the region in schools, check out our updated 2016/17 Health Unit School Calendar.
NWHU School Newsletter Tips

The health unit provides monthly School Newsletter Tips for parents and caregivers.  To share healthy living messaging with parents, just copy and paste into your newsletters, emails or social media pages.
Getting a flu shot - do it for the kids!
Remember to get your flu shot this year. It not only protects you, but also your family, children in the school, and the community.
You can make an appointment for a flu shot beginning in October at or by calling 1-866-468-2240. You can also get free flu shots at most pharmacies in our region without an appointment.  Children under 5 cannot get flu shots at pharmacies; your family doctor or the health unit can provide flu shots for young children.
Tips to prevent spreading germs this flu season:
  • Stay home when you are sick;
  • Cough or sneeze into your arm/sleeve, not your hands;
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth without first washing or sanitizing your hands; and
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces at home and school, especially when someone is sick!
Dental services in your school

Letters will be/have been sent to your classroom to advise parents/guardians of the dental screening we will offer to all students this school year. Following the dental screening, you may be given consent forms for eligible students to take home. Please encourage parents/guardians to return the consent forms so the students can benefit from these important services.

To find out when our dental team will be at your school, visit our online schedule, call 1-855-407-6453, or email
Dental health problems cause many children pain, embarrassment and time away from school. It can also affect their learning ability and concentration in the classroom.
Help improve students’ dental health
The Northwestern Health Unit offers free tooth brushing programs for teachers who are interested in running a program. The health unit provides all necessary materials, including resources and tooth brushing supplies. Contact your local health unit office, email or visit our website for more information.
Make healthy sleep a priority

Many kids are too tired to get enough physical activity during the day, but are not active enough to be tired at night – creating a vicious cycle.  Visit ParticipACTION for more information and resources.

Click here for healthy sleep hygiene tips.

Smoke-Free Movies

The more kids and teens see smoking in movies the more likely they are to start. What can you do?
  • Talk to your students about smoking scenes in movies. Why is it there? Would the movie change if smoking was removed?
  • Search movies to make sure they are smoke-free at
  • Visit to learn more and take action!
Adults need immunizations too!

As a school employee, you are a role model for students - they watch you and are inspired by you every day. Living a healthy lifestyle yourself promotes student health too. A very important aspect of health is immunization… are you due for any shots? Call your local health unit office today to find out.

What is BrightBites?
BrightBites is a NEW program that celebrates steps schools take towards a positive focus on food and eating.  The website has tools, resources and success stories to guide and inspire teachers and other school leaders to create this environment at their school “one bite at a time”, and recognizes them for their efforts.  Recognition comes in the form of fun badges that represent bite-size efforts of teams (schools, individual classrooms) working towards improving the school food environment. 
Upcoming Food in Schools Workshop

A NWHU Public Health Nutritionist and a Health Promoter will facilitate this 1-day workshop in Kenora on October 14th.  Topics include school food policies, menu planning, food safety and more.  Registration is free and open to all school staff and volunteers.  If you are interested in attending send an email to
Physical activity

The following programs or resources have been created to support teachers, schools and parents to help get kids more active:
  • The Canadian Tire JumpStart Program helps kids 4-18 pay for sport registration fees or equipment for families that cannot afford the cost of sports.  Call 1-800-461-3348, email or visit JumpStart  for application or information.
Active & Safe Routes to School
provides a variety of ideas and programs to create a culture of walking and other active travel options for schools, classrooms and families.
It’s time to Rethink Your Drinking

Many people in Northwestern Ontario (NWO) are drinking in a way that is harmful. 3 out of 5 people in NWO exceed Canada’s Low-risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines and almost a quarter of our population report episodes of heavy drinking.  To find out more about what you can do to reduce your risk, visit the Rethink Your Drinking website.

Need help? If you or someone you care about is struggling with an alcohol problem contact the Ontario Drug and Alcohol Helpline for information and referrals.

Alcohol in the Community

Are you concerned about the role that alcohol plays in your community? Now is your chance to have your say. Complete our survey.
Share your Healthy School success stories and receive a prize pack for your school! Stories can be emailed to

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Northwestern Health Unit, 210 First Street North, P9N2K4, Kenora, Canada
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