Kentucky campaign promotes student health during summer

The campaign encourages five habits to promote student health over the school break.

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and the Kentucky Department of Education have launched a summer wellness campaign to promote five habits for youth health during the summer. 

“We look at summer break as an opportunity for children to do the things they enjoy, while also building healthy habits for the next school year and beyond,” Ben Chandler, president and CEO, of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, said in a press release. “’High Five for Health’ suggests activities the whole family can do together, and older kids may even be able to do some independently. We are proud to partner with KDE to help Kentucky families be healthier.” 

The “High Five for Health” summer 2022 campaign encourages Kentuckians to:

Prioritize physical activity

Regular physical activity is one of the most important aspects to overall health. Physical activity improves sleep quality, brain health and cognitive thinking and reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease. Encourage your child to strive for 60 minutes of physical activity daily.

Practice healthy eating

Choosing wholesome foods is important, particularly for children and teens as they grow and develop. Healthy eating leads to stable energy, strong bones, muscles and teeth, improved mental health and helps children maintain a healthy weight and prevent chronic diseases. Summer break is the perfect time to experiment with new recipes and food groups your child may enjoy during the school year.

Monitor chronic conditions such as asthma, obesity and diabetes

It’s important for parents and children to know the symptoms and warning signs of certain chronic conditions like asthma, obesity and diabetes. Wheezing and coughing are two of the most common signs of asthma, but other conditions may be harder to spot. Whether it’s creating a schedule to check blood sugar levels or implementing regular exercise, talk with your child now so they’re prepared when school starts.

Stay up to date on vaccines

Take time to get caught up on “well” check-ups and dentist appointments this summer. Meet with your pediatrician to make sure your child is up to date on all immunizations and your family dentist to practice good oral hygiene.

Manage stress and emotions

People with strong social-emotional learning skills are better able to cope with everyday stressors and challenges. Social-emotional learning is the process of developing self-control and interpersonal skills that are vital for school, work and life success. A few activities to strengthen those skills include coloring, journaling, meditation or listening to music. Summer break is when students get to pursue what they enjoy. Use this time to find outlets that work for your child when they get angry, upset or down on themselves.

Kentucky campaign promotes student health during summer

Jennifer P. Brown | Hoptown Chronicle

Jennifer P. Brown is co-founder, publisher and editor of Hoptown Chronicle. You can reach her at editor@hoptownchronicle.org. She spent 30 years as a reporter and editor at the Kentucky New Era. She is a co-chair of the national advisory board to the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, governing board president for the Kentucky Historical Society, and co-founder of the Kentucky Open Government Coalition.