HFCSD Health & Wellness Newsletter

January 2019

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Happy New Year

Whether it be a New Year's resolution or just a fresh start, but may all your wishes and goals for the new year be realized.
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Flu Season is Here

From the Center for Disease Control (CDC)

The Flu season is here again. Last year's flu season was very long and widespread. Here are some tips to help prevent you or your loved one from getting the flu.

Preventing the Flu: Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs

The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. There also are flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat and prevent flu.

1. Avoid close contact.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

2. Stay home when you are sick.

If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.

3. Cover your mouth and nose.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

4. Clean your hands.

Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

6. Practice other good health habits.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Is it a Cold or the Flu?

Sometimes it is difficult to know the difference between a cold and the flu. Use the following graphic to help you figure out what you might have:
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Food & the Flu

The flu shot is the best to protect against this season’s flu strain, but there are many more colds and viruses out there. A study in older adults showed that boosting fruit and vegetable intake improved antibody response to the Pneumovax vaccine, which protects against Streptococcus pneumonia. Also consider a probiotic - studies indicate they reduce the incidence of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. And get outside to build a snowman, since low vitamin D levels correlate with a greater risk of respiratory infection.

Recipe: Polar Parfait

This chilly parfait, paired with some greens and an egg, is a great way to give your immune system a boost at breakfast! Feel free to substitute whatever your favorite fruit is.


  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds


  • Add yogurt to a cup, layering in fruit & nuts.
  • Top with honey and Enjoy!

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National Winter Sports TBI Awareness Month

From Consumer Health Digest:

National Winter Sports TBI Awareness Month is a public health and awareness campaign for highlighting the dangers of traumatic brain injury and the importance for taking precautionary measures when engaging in winter sports like skating, tobogganing and skiing. TBI stands for Traumatic Brain Injury which is a common result of injuries that involve the head. Every year, there are approximately 1.7 million head injuries in the United States according to the American Physical Therapy Association. More importantly, about 52,000 people die every year due to TBI. It is commonly caused by falling or crashing into another person or objects while skiing or skating. Many of these accidents lead to head injuries like concussions and traumatic brain injury.

These symptoms may be experienced immediately after the accident or days/weeks thereafter.


“Symptoms of a TBI may not appear until days or weeks following the injury. A concussion is the mildest type. It can cause a headache or neck pain, nausea, ringing in the ears, dizziness, and tiredness. People with a moderate or severe TBI may have those, plus other symptoms:”

  • A headache that gets worse or does not go away
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Inability to awaken from sleep
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness or numbness in the arms and legs
  • Dilated eye pupils

If you have a head injury

  • Seek evaluation by a medical provider.
  • Notify the Health Office of any head injury
  • Once cleared to return to activities, the student will complete the "Return to Play" protocol - a series of advancing physical activity and monitoring - before returning to sports, physical education and recess

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Spring Sports Already?

Even though the Winter season of sports is still going strong, Spring sports are right around the corner. Sign ups for Spring Sports will be held in Physical Education classes the week of January 28. Here is what you need to know:

1. All athletes will need to complete a 30-day update form for EACH and EVERY sport. This is a state mandate.

You may print off this update form from the school website under Athletics (www.hfcsd.org) and have your athlete return it to the Health Office.


Your student can bring one home from the Health Office.

2. All athletes and parents need to complete the concussion information sheet and code of conduct form. You may get this information from the coach.


You may complete this information online. Go to the Athletics tab on the school website.www.hfcsd.org

3. Please check your email regularly and have your athlete check their school email account for further information regarding the specific needs of your athlete. An email will be sent to you if your child needs a new physical (the physical must be dated within 365 days of the start of the season), screenings, an inhaler order or any other documentation.

4. Our medical director is responsible for reviewing the documentation and giving clearance for your athlete to participate in sports. He only comes into the district at certain times and it is imperative that the documentation be complete for him to evaluate the information. He also provides free sports physicals. To sign up for a sports physical, students MUST come to the Health Office.

5. Questions?

Call your athlete's Health Office, talk with the coach, or use Remind 101

High School Health Office 518-681- 4201

Middle School Health Office 518-681-4301

Remind 101 for HS Health Office Code 81010 message @hshealtho

Remind 101 for MS Health Office Code 81010 message @mshealtho

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Sometimes we all need a little help. Here are some resources.

211 (One easy phone number to call for free, confidential information and referrals 24 hours/7 days a week. Food assistance, housing assistance, employment help, heating/utilities help, abuse prevention, elder care, mental health services, substance use help, transportation, tax assistance, etc.) www.211neny.org

Alcoholics Anonymous www.aa.org 518-793-1113

Autism Awareness Society www.autism-society.org

Diabetes Association http://www.diabetes.org 800-342-2383

Epilepsy Foundation http://www.epilepsy.com/northeastern-new-york 518-456-7501

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ 800-273-8255

NY Smoke Free https://www.nysmokefree.com 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487)

Salvation Army http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/

Saratoga Bridges (Provides professional services to people with developmental disabilities and their families) http://www.saratogabridges.org/ 518-587-0723

Snack Safely (Guide to current ingredients in many common snack items. Beneficial to all who have a food allergy/intolerance/sensitivity. Updated regularly.) SnackSafely.com

WAIT House (helps homeless youth in New York's Warren and Washington Counties. The co-ed emergency shelter has eight beds for youth ages 16 up to 21, and is a certified New York State Office Of Children and Family Services facility.) http://www.hycwaithouse.org/ 518-798-4384