Back to School, Back to Sports, Back to the Need for Awareness
“When in doubt sit out.”

As parents we arrange the car pools, plan family events around the practice schedules, as well as make sure the games are logged into our calendars so we can make every effort to be there as the cheering section. The anticipation of watching the team take the field for upcoming season is great. As parents we are also encouraged to embrace, “When in doubt, sit out.” A national campaign regarding concussions an injury often related to contact sports.

Sports-related concussions—traumatic brain injuries—are at an all-time high among teens in the U.S., and parents need to be alert to their symptoms and their dangers. More kids are playing sports these days and are playing more competitively. It is estimated that some 135,000 young people a year experience a sports-related concussion. Many end up in the emergency room.

    Illinois law requires each school board in Illinois:

  • To adopt a concussion policy which prevents who have suffered a possible concussion from returning to play until being evaluated and cleared by medical professionals.
  • To develop guidelines to educate coaches, student athletes and their parents.

The new law also requires all school boards in the state to partner with the IHSA to develop clear guidelines and materials to educate coaches, student athletes, and their parents about concussions.

In addition, the bill encourages park districts to educate coaches and parents about concussions. As parents here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Get involved in your school’s athletic program. Make sure your school has a policy of removing injured students from play and not returning them until they are cleared by a qualified health professional – and that this policy is enforced.
  2. Make sure your child knows how serious concussion can be. A blow to the head may be followed by nausea, headache, vomiting and dizziness. If his or her vision is blurry or double, or if he or she feels “foggy” or sleepy, it’s important for him or her to get off the field and tell the coach, trainer, and you.
  3. Teach your child how to avoid injury by wearing the appropriate protective gear and joining teams where players are similar in height, weight, strength and level of training.
  4. Make sure your child has had a baseline concussion test. These are done before a concussion and allow medical professionals to compare brain function before and after a blow to see if there has been any change.
  5. And stay vigilant. You are your child’s best protection against dangerous brain injuries.

As a local units/councils consider hosting a community service event. Utilizing National PTAs Back to Sports Night. This initiative helps educate everyone on wellness issues as well as sports safety. The program includes four station.

  • Keeping families active with NFL PLAY 60
  • Concussion symptoms and treatment
  • Hydration tips
  • Proper tackling with Heads Up Football

To learn more by visiting Back to Sports website to register and access resources to help you plan your school’s Back o Sports Nights and engage families and community leaders in helping kids stay safe and healthy as they play the sports they love.

For more information, visit

Excerpts taken from National PTA website.

General Resources: - Information on food allergies.  - summer meals program                        - food legislation and wellness policies  nutrition information for all - find elected officials through the Center for Science in the Public Interest –Top health issues are highlighted and you can write to your local officials about these topics.

Voices For Illinois Children

The new Illinois Kids Count 2014 report, “Child Health Matters,” documents some positive trends for children’s health in our state—fewer children without health insurance, declining infant mortality rates, fewer young children with lead poisoning, and fewer teen deaths from accidents, homicide, or suicide. However, the data also show disturbing disparities related to household income level, race and ethnicity, special health care needs, and other factors.
Read more

Stop Foodborne Illness

Stop Foodborne Illness is a national nonprofit  health organization dedicated to the prevention of illness and death from foodborne illness by advocating for sound public policy, building public awareness and assisting those impacted by foodborne illness.   SIGN UP FOR STOP e-ALERTS TODAY!

Center For Science In The Public Interest - find elected officials through the Center for Science in the Public Interest –Top health issues are highlighted and you can write to your local officials about these topics.

Health Observances

AUGUST……National Immunization Awareness Month   

NEA Health Information Network is a non-profit health and safety arm of the National Education Association (NEA) whose mission is to improve the health and safety of the school community through disseminating information that empowers school  professionals and positively impacts of the lives of their students.  

Virtual Immunization Communication Network

SEPTEMBER…..National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month - nutrition information  (see above for more resources)
 LYSOL Healthy Habits Week  9/23-9/27 

OCTOBER......ADHD Awareness 

NOVEMBER......Great American Smokeout
National Healthy Lifestyles at

DECEMBER......National Hand Washing Awareness Week classroom information

JANUARY......Drug Abuse Awareness Month

FEBRUARY......Dental Health Awareness Month
American Heart Month  

MARCH......Sleep Awareness Month
National Nutrition Month  (see resources above)   

APRIL......National Stress Awareness Month        
Every Kid Healthy Month     

MAY......Skin Cancer Awareness Month

JUNE......National Safety Month & Sun Safety Week 6/1-6/7

JULY......UV Safety Month