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Teaching Students Healthy Habits

As students across the country head back to school, a fun and educational 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 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 21, 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 25 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 faculty the opportunity to nominate their school to win a plethora of prizes. Teachers can upload a video (60 seconds or less) to show how they promote healthy habits with their kids in the classroom. Once the video is posted to the contest gallery, they can share it with everyone they know for a chance to win valuable gift cards, which can be used for classroom supplies. The top 50 Lysol Healthy Habits videos with the most votes will win $200 - $500 in gift cards and Lysol products. The contest runs from 8/4/15 — 10/16/15. 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