We all want what’s best for our children. The truth is, children are facing more health risks than ever before. Some of these risks include: obesity and associated chronic diseases such as diabetes, less access to fresh foods including fruits and vegetables, and mental health issues such as depression.
The role of the Healthy Schools Team at the Thunder Bay District Health Unit is to help schools throughout the district promote healthy and safe living for students. The team, comprised of public health nurses and a public health dietitian, can provide information and activities related to many student health topics including:
- Healthy growth and development
- Personal safety & injury prevention
- Mental health wellness
- Substance use and abuse
- Physical activity
- Healthy eating
These topics are linked to classroom curriculum and encourage student participation so that the healthy lessons they learn at school will stay with them their whole lives.
Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities: How You Can Make A Difference (Ophea)
What We Do
Healthy Schools and You
Head lice are a nuisance and a common issue in schools since lice can pass easily from person to person through close contact – most often from head-to-head contact. It’s important to keep in mind that head lice are not a health hazard. They do not result from a lack of cleanliness.
With the growing awareness of the effect of concussions on children and youth (whose brains are still developing), the Ontario Ministry of Education now requires all school boards to develop a concussion plan. The Healthy Schools Team is working with local and district schools to promote safety and provide information about concussions to administrators, teachers, parents and students.
More information about this plan can be found in the Ministry’s School Board Policies on Concussion (PDF)
More information about concussions in general can be found on the Ministry’s website.
Sexual Health Education
Part of promoting healthy lifestyles for children is teaching them about the physical, emotional and developmental aspects of sexuality as well as the risks. The Healthy Schools Team works with local and district schools to help present this information and promote healthy choices, as outlined by the Ontario Ministry of Education.
Find out more about Sexual Health Education here Sexual Health Education page.
For more information about sexual health not related to schools, please visit our Sexual Health section.
Youth Violence Prevention Project
The Youth Violence Prevention Project is a comprehensive, school-based initiative to address the adolescent risk triad of peer and dating violence, problematic substance use and unhealthy sexual behaviour, and empower the youth in our communities to make healthier choices.
Together with our school-board and community partners we’re implementing and evaluating the Fourth R program in Gr.7-9 classrooms across the district. Our goal is to impart youth with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to engage in lifelong healthy relationships and reduce adolescent risk behaviours.
School Nurse Services
Our school nurses work with elementary, high school and post-secondary institutions throughout the district to provide nursing services and assist with health programming. Our strategies and initiatives are related to, but not limited to, the Ministry of Education’s Foundations for a Healthy School.
To find out who your school nurse is, please visit the School Nurse Services page.
For Further Information
Call the Healthy Schools Program: (807) 625-5900
or toll-free 1-888-294-6630