More information is available on the Illness & Medical page.
Information from our School Nurse | Feb./Mar. 2019
Canadian children and adolescents are now spending so much time on screens –
video games, smartphones, tablets, computers and television, public health and
pediatric experts report that it is negatively impacting their physical, mental and
Recreational Screen time recommendations as outlined by the Canadian
guidelines and endorsed by the Canadian Pediatric Society:
- Under 2years – no screen time
- 2 - 4 year olds – 1 Hour daily maximum; less is better
- 5 - 17 year olds – 2 Hour daily maximum; less is better
We have seen a dramatic shift in the way children spend their time, with less time
playing outside and more time spent indoors, sedentary and screen-based.
A growing body of research is sounding the alarm about the amount of time
Canadian children and youth are spending sitting in front of screens, this
is negatively associated with their physical, mental and emotional health.
The Ontario Student Health survey reports that students in grades 7 to 12 are
spending up to 7 hours a day on screens, more than three and a half times the
recommended limit of 2 hours per day. (The survey results would be very similar in
Alberta). Spending so much time on smartphones, video games, tablets,
computers and televisions significantly affects eating habits, displaces physical
activities, limits children’s opportunities to interact with each other, and increases
the incidence of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
Simultaneously, researchers agree that spending time in nature and being active
outdoors is beneficial to children’s physical and mental health, and helps improve
their resiliency, academic performance and social skills.
Physicians in Scotland, America and Canada have started prescribing time in
nature, which can reduce symptoms of stress, depression, anxiety, aggression,
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), diabetes and high blood pressure,
and improve cognition and immune function.
Children and youth aged 5 - 17 years should engage in high levels of physical
activity, reduced levels of sedentary behavior - especially screen time - and
sufficient sleep each day. 85% of children aged 5-17 do not meet the guidelines for
adequate sleep, physical activity and screen time.as outlined by the Canadian
Guidelines5 and endorsed by the outlined by the Canadian
Physical activity is closely linked to a child’s physiological health, cognitive function
and mental health. A team of experts in pediatric neuroscience and exercise
science emphasize the positive benefit of aerobic exercise on brain health.
For example, physical activity improves cognitive functions such as behavior
regulation, attention and planning, and improves mental health. Physical activity in
children helps minimize depressive symptoms and feelings of anxiety.
In addition, higher levels of physical activity in children are associated with lower
stress and better resilience. Developing healthy exercise habits in childhood and
adolescence can set the foundation for a lifetime of good physical and mental
The New Year is an optimal time to review and discuss the information with your
Cold & Flu Season
February brings a variety of weather conditions so students should be dressing for
the weather. Although our winter has been milder, occurrences of flu have been
high this year. The following are some flu prevention tips to keep our school
community and your families healthy:
Wash your hands frequently
This has shown to be extremely effective in
reducing the incidence of transmitting the flu and other viruses. Wash your hands
for at least 20 seconds. Here are some other tips to staying healthy:
1. Wash your hands before eating and when they are dirty.
2. Wash your hands thoroughly after using the washroom.
3. Do not cough in your hands. Cough in your elbow or sleeve.
4. Don’t sneeze in your hands. Use a tissue and throw it away as soon as
5. Above all, do not put your finger in your eyes, nose or mouth. These are
the entry points for ALL respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases.
6. Eat healthy foods, get regular exercise, and get enough sleep.
7. If you are sick, stay home.
8. Get vaccinated against Influenza.
What can parents do to help?
Parents can review good hygiene practices with their children. This helps to
prevent the spread of the influenza virus and other infectious illnesses with their
children. Parents are requested to keep their children at home if they are showing
any signs of sickness or flu-like symptoms. This helps keep other students and
staff healthy. We thank you for your cooperation in keeping everyone as healthy