For School Nurses
School nurses are in a key position to address the needs of obese and overweight children as well as advocate for those at risk of becoming obese. Students see you regularly and look to your expertise. Parents know if a health crisis occurs, you are there to ensure their child’s safety and care.
Pennsylvania law requires yearly mandated school health screenings of height, weight and BMI. Calculated BMI results serve as a tool to identify students who require follow up care.
Poor diet and inadequate physical activity are leading contributors to being overweight and obese. As a trusted medical professional, you can offer guidance on evidenced-based resources and practical solutions to make healthy choices a lifestyle.
Try these strategies:
- Be diligent in notifying parents of BMI screening results. Use the new parent-tested BMI letter.
- In addition to the BMI letter, follow up with parents of children that screens overweight or obese.
- Stress to parents the importance of following up with their child’s healthcare provide on an unhealthy BMI for further assessment and treatment.
- Use toolkit resources to encourage students and families on goal setting, healthy nutrition, increased physical activity and overall well-being.
- Become aware of community resources available and make referrals for students needing weight counseling or additional support.
- Work with the school district to improve nutrition and physical activity by providing healthy choices at mealtimes and promoting more physical activity during, before and after school.
- Advocate for nutrition and wellness education programs throughout grade levels.
- Resources for Schools
5-2-1-0 Let’s Go!
Let’s Go! helps kids and families eat healthy and be active. They partner with teachers, doctors, child care providers, and community organizations to help share the same four healthy habits of “5 2 1 0” everyday.
Accredited Schools Student Nutrition and Fitness Guide
Guide to help students of all ages and their families better understand the effects of poor nutrition and obesity, and how best to eat well, exercise, and live a healthy life.
Alliance for a Healthier Generation
Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program is an evidence-based initiative that will help you to create and sustain healthy environments where your students can learn better and flourish.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention Healthy Schools (CDC)
CDC’s Division of Population Health is charged with managing programs that provide cross-cutting, chronic disease and health promotion expertise, which includes programs for School Health.
ChooseMyPlate.gov provides practical information to individuals, health professionals, nutrition educators, and the food industry to help consumers build healthier diets with resources and tools for dietary assessment, nutrition education, and other user-friendly nutrition information.
Coordinated Approach To Child Health (CATCH)
CATCH is an evidence-based, coordinated school health program designed to promote physical activity, healthy food choices and the prevention of tobacco use in children.
Let’s Move! is a comprehensive initiative, launched by the First Lady, dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams.
Let’s Move! Active Schools
Let’s Move! Active Schools empowers you to amplify your impact among students and throughout your school by focusing on five key areas: physical education, physical activity during school, physical activity before and after school, staff involvement, and family and community engagement.
Let’s Move! Child Care
Look no further. As a child care provider, Let’s Move! Child Care is your one-stop-shop for insights and advice about early childhood nutrition and physical activity.
National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR)
The mission of the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) is to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and application of childhood obesity research, and to halt — and reverse — childhood obesity through enhanced coordination and collaboration.
Smarter Lunchrooms Movement
The mission of the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement is to equip school lunchrooms with evidence-based tools that improve child eating behaviors and thus improve the health of children.
Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE)
The Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE), formerly the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), is the non-profit professional membership association that sets the standard for best practices in quality physical education and sport.
SPARK is a research-based, public health organization dedicated to creating, implementing, and evaluating programs that promote lifelong wellness.
Healthier lifestyles, 10 minutes at a time.
We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition) is a national movement designed to give parents, caregivers, and entire communities a way to help children 8 to 13 years old stay at a healthy weight.
- BMI Letter Resources
Studies show that school-based interventions have been unsuccessful in reducing childhood obesity prevalence, potentially due to the lack of follow-up with appropriate nutritional education programming. In order to help fill this gap, the Highmark Foundation partnered with Penn State PRO Wellness to develop and test an effective BMI screening letter that leads parents to tools and resources for making healthy lifestyle changes for their families.
- School Nurse Portal
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, schools should have one nurse for every 750 students. However, the National Education Association reports that 59% of schools have a higher ratio of students to available nurses. Yet school nurses continue to rise to the challenge. Despite juggling mandated school health screenings, complex medical and social issues, special needs and immunizations; school nurses continue to heal, comfort, mentor and fill a critical need in each district throughout the state.
Through collaboration with Highmark Foundation, PRO Wellness has offered the following tools and resources to school nurses.
- Kohl’s Healthy Champions Recipes
A balanced diet can help children grow up healthy. However, it’s not always easy to eat healthy when you’re juggling a busy schedule. Looking for healthy meal options? Our Kohl’s Healthy Champions Recipes portal can help you make wise food choices.
- Healthy Choices Quick Tips to Share with Patients and Families
Click on our Healthy Choices quick tip sheets below to guide families on making healthy food and activity choices.