Hopefully, everyone was able to enjoy the beauty of Loudoun County this summer. It seems like school just let out and we are already preparing for the new school year. From preschool to college, there are steps you can take to keep yourself and your students healthy and safe this upcoming year:
- Stay Protected Against Infections: The close confines of schools increase the chance of disease spread. Being up to date on all vaccinations, both for the student and the rest of the family, is a critical tool to staying healthy. They are also required at different levels of education. Additionally, non-vaccinated students may need to be kept out of school in the event of an outbreak. Public school registration information, including vaccination requirements, is available online.
- Get to School Safely: With the new school year come more cars on the road, new bus schedules, frantic parents trying to get their kids to school on time and children walking to school for the first time. This combination can put your kids at risk as they try to get to and from school. More information and steps you can take to get your kids to school safely is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) .
- Be Safe in School: Schools are one of the safest places for our children. They can also be places where bullying occurs. Signs of bullying may be as straightforward as your child coming home with torn, damaged, or missing pieces of clothing or books, unexplained cuts, bruises and scratches, anxiety, depression or a fear of attending school. The signs may also be such easily overlooked issues as having few, if any friends, with whom he or she spends time, complaining frequently of headaches, stomach aches, difficulty sleeping or loss of appetite, or changes in grades or interest in school. School counselors are excellent resources for addressing bullying concerns. More information on bullying is available from Loudoun County Public Schools.
- Stay Informed: Public and private schools have multiple ways to keep parents informed of what is happening in their students and schools. Check with your school on how best to receive updates, including by email, phone calls, and online. Reach out to your school’s teachers and staff throughout the school year if you have questions or concerns about your child.
So please take these simple steps, enjoy the rest of your summer, and contact the Health Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or our website at www.loudoun.gov/health if you have any questions or concerns for which can be of assistance
Dr. David Goodfriend is the director of the Loudoun County Health Department