Supporting parents with safe and healthy back to school resources

As summer winds down in Halton, many parents and children are looking forward to the school year ahead and reuniting with friends, making new ones, meeting new teachers and getting back into familiar school routines.  As supportive parents and guardians, it is easy to share in our children’s enthusiasm as they get ready to return to school, but there are also many safety and health issues to consider for the year ahead.

Making the transition
To help make the transition to kindergarten easier for you and your little ones, the Halton Region Health Department provides valuable resources for every age and stage.  Check out the Ready, Set, Go! section of our website for some great information, tips and community supports.

The Region’s website also offers resources for teens starting high school (and their parents) through the Ready, Set, Whoa! and Teens sections on our website. These valuable resources can help you navigate and support your teen’s journey through the next stage of their life.

Immunization
At Halton Region we are committed to the health and well-being of all of our residents. Immunization is one way to protect our community from the threat of preventable diseases that can easily be spread in schools. If you haven’t already done so, please ensure your family’s immunizations are up-to-date and that your children have all of the legally-required immunizations to attend school.   Review Ontario’s Immunization of School Pupil’s Act and remember that you need to submit your updated immunization records to the Halton Region Health Department.

Getting to school
For many of us, walking or riding to school was a rite of passage—we were finally old enough to get to
school without the help of mom or dad. If your children are walking or biking to school this year, please
ensure they learn the rules of the road, travel the safest route possible and, if biking, always wear a properly fitted CSA-approved helmet and learn the skills to handle a bike properly. Explore with your school some of the Active and Safe Routes to School programs and some basic bicycle safety information can be found on the Halton Region website.

Support for parents
Getting back to fall schedules can bring many pressures for parents and their children. Remember you can call or connect online with HaltonParents where public health nurses will provide support, information and other resources to cope with those everyday issues. Connect with us online at halton.ca/haltonparents, on Twitter @HaltonParents and Facebook, by email at haltonparents@halton.ca, or dial 311 to speak directly with a public health nurse.

I would like to wish all Halton parents, students, teachers and school staff a wonderful, safe, healthy and productive school year.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter@garycarrhaltonLinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”