Skip to Content

Teaching Students Healthy Habits

As students across the country head back to school after the worst flu season in a decade, a new program reinforces the importance of healthy habits at school and home.

The CDC estimates that K-12 students in the U.S. miss 38 million school days each year due to influenza alone, while tens of millions more are lost due to colds and other preventable infectious diseases.

Recognizing the importance of educating students about health and hygiene both in the classroom and at home, the National Education Association, National Parent Teacher Association, and Lysol® have partnered together to create the Healthy Habits Program.

This year, Healthy Habits Week begins on September 22, and to arm teachers and parents with resources to help support student health and well-being, the coalition has created a robust online portal and program toolkit — with collaboration from the CDC — that contains resources for parents and teachers such as activity guides and 30 lesson plans to engage students on healthy habits in interesting ways:

A cornerstone of the Healthy Habits Program is the Healthy Habits Tour, featuring a one-of-a-kind school bus turned into a science museum on wheels that will visit schools nationwide each year from June through October and give students an interactive way to learn about health and wellness. Through a series of interactive stations, students learn proper cough and sneeze etiquette, common places where germs might be lurking and how to stay well through hand washing and other healthy habits.

The annual Healthy Habits Contest is another piece of the Healthy Habits program that gives parents and faculty the opportunity to nominate their child’s school to win a plethora of prizes. Prizes include three school grant opportunities tiered at $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000, one-year supply of Lysol Disinfecting Wipes and Lysol No-Touch Hand Soap Dispenser & Refills for the school and a Healthy Habits Day, featuring a visit from the Healthy Habits Bus! For more information on the Healthy Habits Contest, visit

For additional information about the program, the toolkit, and the Healthy Habits Tour, visit


From the NEA Health Information Network