Parents for Healthy Schools

Parents have a powerful role in supporting children’s health and learning. Engaged parents help guide their children successfully through school, advocate for their children, and can help shape a healthy school environment. CDC has developed a set of resources called Parents for Healthy Schools to help schools and school groups (e.g., parent teacher associations (PTA), parent teacher organizations (PTO), school wellness committees) engage parents to create healthy school environments.

These resources will:

  • Educate parents about
    • School nutrition environment and services
    • School-based physical education and physical activity
    • Managing chronic health conditions in school settings
  • Provide parents with practical strategies and actions to improve the school health environment
  • Provide suggestions for ways to track progress in engaging parents in changing the school health environment.

Click here to access the Parents for Healthy Kids resources.

Back to School Health

It’s that time again! This is an exciting time of year for students and families. As students complete their first week of school, it is important to recognize the key health and safety information that will help ensure a great start to the school year.

For more information, visit the CDC’s back to school toolkit website.

CDC Launches Website on Infant and Toddler Nutrition

Good nutrition during the first 2 years of life is vital for healthy growth and development. Children grow and develop every day. As they grow older, their nutrition needs change. Children with healthier eating patterns in their first year of life are more likely to have a healthier eating pattern later on. Yet too many children are not eating a healthy diet.

Among U.S. children between 1 to 2 years of age:

  • 15% are iron deficient,
  • Fewer than half ate a vegetable on a given day, and
  • More than 3 out of 10 children drank a sugar-sweetened beverage on a given day.

Credible information about infant and toddler nutrition is important for parents and caregivers. CDC is providing parents of young children with this nutrition information to help infants and toddlers get a healthy start in life.

CDC is releasing a website that brings together existing information and practical strategies on developing healthy eating patterns for infants and toddlers, from birth to 24 months of age.

Topics include:

  • Breastfeeding
  • Formula feeding
  • Essential vitamins & minerals
  • Introduction of solid foods
  • Foods and drinks to encourage
  • Tips on mealtime routines, …and more!

Blast Off from the CDC – Concussion and Helmet Safety Apps


Blast Off into Concussion Safety with CDC HEADS UP Rocket Blades!

	Rocket Blades - The brain safety game for kids 6-8. Available in the App Store. HEADS UP Kids. HHS CDC3-2-1 Blast Off! CDC’s Injury Center has developed our first-ever mobile game app on concussion safety for children aged 6 to 8. Through a futuristic world of galactic racing adventures children can learn the benefits of playing it safe and smart!

The app aims to teach children:

  • the different ways the brain can get hurt during sports activities.
  • how important it is to tell a coach, parent, or other adult when an injury occurs.
  • the importance of taking time to rest and recover if they have a concussion.
Download for Free

Download the HEADS UP Rocket Blades at no cost. (The app is currently only available in the Apple App Store. An Android version of the app is coming soon.)


The CDC HEADS UP Concussion and Helmet Safety app will help you learn how to spot a possible concussion and what to do if you think your child or teen has a concussion or other serious brain injury.

The application also includes a 3D helmet fit feature that teaches about proper helmet fit, safety and care.

Download for Free

Strategies for Recess in Schools

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and SHAPE America have developed new resources for recess in schools.

Protect Yourself and Others this Holiday Season

With flu activity increasing and family and friends planning gatherings for the holidays, now is a great time to get a flu vaccine if you have not gotten vaccinated yet. 

While seasonal flu activity varies, flu activity usually peaks between December and February, though activity can last as late as May. An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against this potentially serious disease. Even if you have already gotten sick with the flu this season, it is still a good idea to get a vaccine. Flu vaccines protect against three or four different flu viruses (depending on which flu vaccine you get).

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. This season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends only flu shots (not the nasal spray vaccine). Find more information on the flu by visiting

Find a place near you to get a flu vaccine with the HealthMap Vaccine Finder: (

Improve Your Kids Flu Shot Experience

Adapted from

Watching your child cry as they’re getting their shots isn’t easy, but you know the shots will help keep them healthy in the years to come. You can make that trip to the doctor a little bit easier by getting your child in the right frame of mind. Use these tips to help prepare for your next trip to the doctor’s office for vaccinations.

  • Don’t let the doctor surprise them with a shot. Tell them in advance they’re going to be getting a shot at their appointment and help prepare them for that.
  • It’s OK to let your child know it will probably a hurt a little bit at first, but make sure to tell them the pain goes away very quickly and the shot is going to help make them healthy and strong.
  • Teach them why they need to get shots. Tell them the medicine from the shot helps their bodies fight all kinds of diseases that used to make kids very sick before shots were invented.
  • Keep your kids distracted while they are getting their shots. Talk to them or hold their hand, but make sure they stay still for the nurse giving the shot.
  • Reward your kids for good behavior at the doctor. Face it, getting a shot is scary and not fun, but if your child does well treat them to a little something special to reward their good behavior.

If you have concerns about immunizing your children or any safety risks associated with certain vaccines, you can find more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Engaging Parents to Promote Healthy Schools

Most parents think schools should help address the health of students, yet many parents are not involved in creating healthy school environments for their children.  Get involved with your school by joining their Healthy School Team!

Schools, parents, and students benefit from parents being involved in their children’s school. Students who have parents involved in their school lives are more likely to:

    • Get better grades,
    • Choose healthier behaviors such as biking or choosing better food and drink options,
    • Have better social skills, and
    • Avoid unhealthy behaviors like smoking.

The CDC wants parents to have the information on how they can support their children’s school. When parents are involved, the school is happier and healthier place to be, and their child’s grades and performance are improved.

Parents have a powerful role in supporting children’s health and learning.

What is Parents for Healthy Schools?

Parents for Healthy Schools is a set of resources that school groups, such as PTA/PTO and school wellness committees, can use to get parents involved in promoting healthy schools.

There are four resources included in Parents for Healthy Schools.

Parents for Healthy Schools: A Guide for Getting Parents Involved from K‒12

  • Provides an overview on:
    • School nutrition.
    • Physical education and physical activity.
    • Managing chronic health conditions like asthma or diabetes in schools.
  • Explains how parents can be involved in school health and gives guidance on how the resources can be used.

Parents for Healthy Schools: Making a Difference in Your Child’s School PowerPoint Presentation

  • Explains the importance of a healthy school and identifies ways parents can take action in promoting a healthy schools.
  • Includes an evaluation form.

Ideas for Parents

  • Suggests key questions and shares ideas parents can consider when asking about a health topic or wanting to take action.

Check-in questions

  • Identifies ways to track whether parents are becoming more involved in efforts to make schools healthier.

These four resources were developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with key federal and professional and non-profit organizations.

Who Should Use these Resources?

Any school or group in the school that works with parents. These groups include:

  • National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)
  • National Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO)
  • School wellness committee
  • School health personnel and advisory council
  • Action team for partnerships that is part of the National Network of Partnership Schools

Others, such as school nutrition directors, school administrators, school nurses, teachers, parents, and community members or organizations, interested in working with parents and getting them involved in the school can also use these resources.

For more information, visit Parents for Healthy Schools website.

February is Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month

teen dating violenceIn recognition of Congress’ designation of February as Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month, The Children’s Safety Network is pleased to provide these resources on the critical issue of teen dating violence.

Children’s Safety Network Resources:

Teen Dating Violence Prevention Resource Guide

Teen Dating Violence as a Public Health Issue

Teen Dating Violence Topic Page

Definition: Teen dating violence is a pattern of controlling behavior exhibited towards one teenager by another in a dating relationship. There are three major types of teen dating violence:

  • Physical abuse – hitting, punching, slapping, shoving, kicking
  • Emotional abuse – threats, name calling, screaming, yelling, ridiculing, spreading rumors, isolation,  intimidation, stalking, and, more recently, using technology to harass or intimidate by texting, calling, and/or bullying or monitoring via social networking sites
  • Sexual abuse – unwanted touching or kissing, forced or coerced engagement in sexual acts

Magnitude of the Problem: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 9% of high school students reported that they had been purposely physically hurt by a dating partner in the past year (CDC – 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance questionnaire). A survey of adult victims of dating violence found that nearly 1 in 5 women and nearly 1 in 7 men first experienced partner violence between the ages of 11 and 17 (CDC, 2012 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey).

CDC Announcement: E-cigarettes and high-school students

Adapted from: CDC Announcement: E-cigarette ads reach nearly 7 in 10 middle and high-school students

E-cigarette ads reach nearly 7 in 10 middle and high-school students

Many ads use themes that appeal to youth

About 7 in 10 middle and high school students – more than 18 million young people – see e-cigarette advertising in stores, online, in newspapers and magazines, or on television and in movies, according to a new CDC Vital Signs report.

Exposure to e-cigarette advertisements may be contributing to increases in e-cigarette use among youth.

E-cigarette ads use many of the same themes – independence, rebellion, and sex – used to sell cigarettes. Advertising of tobacco products has been shown to cause young people to start using those products.

  • In 2014, e-cigarettes became the most commonly used tobacco product among youth, surpassing conventional cigarettes.
  • During 2011 to 2014, current e-cigarette use among high school students soared from 1.5% to 13.4 %.
  • As shown in the graph below, spending on e-cigarette advertising rose from $6.4 million in 2011 to an estimated $115 million in 2014.


States, communities, and others could reduce youth access to e-cigarettes.

 E-cigarettes typically deliver nicotine, which at a young age may cause lasting harm to brain development, promote addiction, and lead to sustained tobacco use. Strategies to reduce youth access to e-cigarettes could include:

  • Limiting tobacco product sales to facilities that never admit youth
  • Restricting the number of stores that sell tobacco and how close they can be to schools
  • Requiring that e-cigarettes be sold only through face-to-face transactions, not on the Internet
  • Requiring age verification to enter e-cigarette vendor’s websites, make purchases, and accept deliveries of e-cigarettes

For more information on CDC’s youth tobacco prevention activities, please visit or contact Jen Greaser at