HFCSD Health & Wellness Newsletter

June 2019

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Here Comes Summer!

This may be the end of the school year, but it may be the beginning of a great summer and a new step in our grads' lives. What a terrific time of the year.
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Best to Leave Fireworks to the Experts

Summer is synonymous with barbecues, parades and fireworks displays. But along with all the festivities are plenty of visits to emergency rooms – especially during July.

In 2016, at least four people died and about 11,100 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. And while the majority of these incidents were due to amateurs attempting to use professional-grade, homemade or other illegal fireworks or explosives, thousands were from less powerful devices like small firecrackers and sparklers.

More fires are reported on July 4 than any other day of the year. On a typical Fourth of July, fireworks account for two out of five of all reported fires, according to theNational Fire Protection Association. Each year, fireworks cause on average 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires and nearly 17,000 other fires resulting in thousands of injuries.

The National Safety Council advises everyone to stay away from all consumer fireworks and to only enjoy fireworks at a public display conducted by professionals.

Following are some fireworks that are legal for consumers to purchase and use in some states. But just because they are legal doesn't mean they're safe. Check out this video by the NFPA.


Every year, young children can be found along parade routes and at festivals with sparklers in hand, but they are a lot more dangerous than most people think. Parents don't realize they burn at about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing, and many children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet.

Bottle Rockets

These small rockets are attached to a stick, lit by a fuse and typically fired from a bottle. Teens have been known to have bottle rocket wars, firing them at one another and causing chest, head and eye injuries.

Physicians at Vanderbilt Eye Institute at Vanderbilt University Medical Center have seen so many eye injuries caused by bottle rockets they conducted a study they hope will lead to better education and "legislative enhancements" on fireworks safety.

"The majority of the children (in the study) ended up with reduced vision, and probably half of those were deemed legally blind," said Dr. Franco Recchia, associate professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at Vanderbilt.


Firecrackers are designed to explode on the ground. They are often linked together by one long fuse and explode in a series. They are designed to be very noisy, but they also can cause burns and other serious injuries.

Roman Candles

Roman candles eject multiple exploding shells from a tube the user holds in his or her hand. There have been numerous reports of children losing fingers, severe burns and other injuries, which are sometimes caused when the device gets jammed.

Two Words About M-class Fireworks ..... Just don't.

You hear them go off every year: M-80s, M-100s, even M-250s. The unmistakable explosions associated with these devices can rattle the windows of homes for blocks. They are produced illegally and without quality control, have short fuses and cause hundreds of extremely severe injuries each year.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives outlines the risks of these explosive devices.

If They're Legal

If fireworks are legal to buy where you live and you choose to use them, be sure to follow the following safety tips:

  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
  • Never light them indoors
  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
  • Never ignite devices in a container
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Soak unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire

Better yet, grab a blanket and a patch of lawn, kick back and let the experts handle the show.

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Colors that POP!

Even if playing with fireworks is off-limits, you can still have some fun with the colors in your foods. Fruits and veggies are filled with natural colors that aren't only fun, but tasty and full of nutrients too! Do you know what each color means?

RED: Red fruits and vegetables are coloured by a natural plant pigment called lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce the risk of cancer and keep our heart healthy.

PURPLE /BLUE: The plant pigment anthocyanin is what gives blue/purple fruits and vegetables their distinctive color. Anthocyanin also has antioxidant properties that protect cells from damage and can help reduce the risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease.

ORANGE/YELLOW: Carotenoids give this group their vibrant color. A well-known carotenoid called Betacarotene is found in sweet potatoes, pumpkins and carrots. It is converted to vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy mucous membranes and healthy eyes. Another carotenoid called lutein is stored in the eye and has been found to prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness.

GREEN: Green vegetables contain a range of phytochemicals including carotenoids, indoles and saponins, all of which have anti-cancer properties. Leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli are also excellent sources of folate.

BROWN/WHITE:White fruits and vegetables contain a range of health-promoting phytochemicals such as allicin (found in garlic) which is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. Some members of the white group, such as bananas and potatoes, are also a good source of potassium.

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You'll need:

  • 7 raspberries
  • 7 strawberries
  • 7 tangerine segments
  • 7 cubes peeled mango
  • 7 pineapple chunks
  • 7 kiwi fruit chunks
  • 7 green grapes
  • 7 red grapes
  • 14 blueberries


Arrange the fruit onto 7 kebabs in different color patterns. Feel free to cut into fun shapes, and enjoy!

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Medication Pick Up

New York State law prohibits schools from keeping student medication over the summer, unless the student is attending a summer school program. If your child is attending a summer school program, a new doctor's order will be needed starting July 1.

Please pick up your child's medication by noon on Wednesday June 26 or the medication will be sent out for destruction. If you cannot get to the school during the Medication Pick Up period, please call the Health Office for that building to make special arrangements.

Medication Pick Up Dates and Hours:

HS June 20-25 7:15-2:45 June 26 7:15-12 518-681-4201

MS June 20-25 7-3 June 26 7-12 518-681-4301

IS June 24-25 8-4 June 26 8-12 518-681-4401

PS June 24-25 8-3:45 June 26 8-12 518-681-4451

KC June 24-25 8-4 June 26 8-12 518-681-4501

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Water Safety

From Red Cross:

Take Steps to Stay Safe Around Water

Swimming is the most popular summer activity. One of the best things you can do to help your family stay safe is to enroll in age-appropriate swim lessons. Designed for those ages six months to adult, Red Cross swim lessons help set the stage for a lifetime of water safety by equipping you with the knowledge and skills needed to help you and your loved ones swim safely and with confidence. Contact the Training Support Center at 1-800-RED-CROSS or support@redcrosstraining.org.

Follow these safety actions whenever you are in, on or around water.

Make Water Safety Your Priority

  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!
  • Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and Learn-to-Swim courses.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
  • Establish rules for your family and enforce them without fail. For example, set limits based on each person’s ability, do not let anyone play around drains and suction fittings, and do not allow swimmers to hyperventilate before swimming under water or have breath-holding contests.
  • Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of waterincluding ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
  • If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.
  • Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.

Prevent Unsupervised Access to the Water

  • Install and use barriers around your home pool or hot tub. Safety covers and pool alarms should be added as additional layers of protection.
  • Ensure that pool barriers enclose the entire pool area, are at least 4-feet high with gates that are self-closing, self-latching and open outward, and away from the pool. The latch should be high enough to be out of a small child’s reach.
  • If you have an above-ground or inflatable pool, remove access ladders and secure the safety cover whenever the pool is not in use.
  • Remove any structures that provide access to the pool, such as outdoor furniture, climbable trees, decorative walls and playground equipment.
  • Keep toys that are not in use away from the pool and out of sight. Toys can attract young children to the pool.

Maintain Constant Supervision

  • Actively supervise kids whenever around the water—even if lifeguards are present. Do not just drop your kids off at the public pool or leave them at the beach—designate a responsible adult to supervise.
  • Always stay within arm’s reach of young children and avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
  • Know What to Do in an Emergency. If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
  • Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
  • If you own a home pool or hot tub, have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.

Enroll in Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.

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Sports, Sports and Sports - What to do if my athlete is injured

Sports, Sports and Sports - What to do if my athlete is injured

The Winter season of sports is well under way. By now the athletes have been cleared, gone through try-outs and are in the middle of competition. However, if your athlete becomes injured during the season, here is what you need to know...

1. Your athlete needs to report any injuries to their coach as soon as they happen.

Sometimes athletes do not want to miss part of a game or practice, but continuing to participate when hurt can prolong the healing process and force them to miss more games.

2. If your athlete is evaluated by a medical professional, they will NEED a note to return to sports without restrictions. This note should be given to their coach or the nurse in their Health Office at School.

3. Concussion/Head Injury

If your athlete had a head injury or concussion, they will need to be evaluated by a medical professional. Once they are cleared by their primary care physician, they are still not allowed to practice or compete. By federal guidelines, the athlete must follow a "Return to Play" protocol after receiving medical clearance which involves progressive increase in activity and monitoring. Once this protocol is successfully completed, then the athlete may return to competition and practice.

4. 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

Austim 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

Hudson Falls Health and Wellness Supports Overview Link: https://sites.google.com/hfcsd.org/hudsonfallshealthwellnessresou/home

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