School Nurse Group Aims to Keep Kids Safe This Summer

The National Association of School Nurses is working to keep kids safe outside school by providing its members with summer safety resources to distribute to students and families.

Safety first. That’s the goal of the National Association of School Nurses, which is arming its members with resources from Shriners Hospitals for Children to promote summer safety for students and their families.

The Superheroes of Summer Safety education program features a combination of online and printable activities and tip sheets addressing topics such as skin, pool, playground, and campfire safety—all injury risks that children face during the summer break.

“NASN is partnering with Shriners so that we can provide the information to school nurses to try to increase the reach, to reach more kids and families through the school environment,” NASN President-Elect Nina Fekaris said in an interview with Associations Now. “The school nurse is poised pretty well as being a trusted source for health information and health promotion and protection information for our students and our families. So, we felt as an organization that it really does help build that culture of health in our schools and in our communities.”

NASN connects its member school nurses with the Shriners resources, and then the nurses decide with their school and district how best to distribute the materials.

“We’re just hoping that school nurses will help get the message out to their communities. So, they will do it and design it however best fits the needs of their schools and their community,” Fekaris said.

Those schools who participate in the campaign at the close of this school year can put on classroom demonstrations or talks, distribute coloring sheets, or send the online resources out to parents in e-newsletters. Fekaris said some urban schools may partner will community drug stores to provide sunscreen samples for children as part of the program.

“School nurses strive to keep students healthy, safe, and ready to learn,” NASN President Beth Mattey said in a statement. “Working with students in schools, and their families, is a key piece of the safety puzzle, and NASN is proud to be a part of Shriners Hospitals for Children’s campaign.”

If the nurses don’t implement the program this year, they’ll still have the chance to use the resources during summer school or when school starts again the fall—especially since Shriners will present on the campaign at NASN’s 2016 annual conference at the end of June.

“We understand that school nurses are the foundation for student health,” Jerry Gantt, chairman of the Board of Directors for Shriners Hospitals for Children, said in the release. “Providing school nurses with additional resources to help improve the health and safety of children is just another way we send love to the rescue.”

Fekaris, a school nurse herself, explained that while school nurses aim to help students be healthy, they hope those lessons extend beyond the schoolyard. “We believe that our role is to really promote health and safety for a lifetime—not just during the school day—but what can we do to help our children and our families and our communities stay healthy and safe.”

(Handout photo)

Alex Beall

By Alex Beall

Alex Beall is an associate editor for Associations Now with a masters in journalism and a penchant for Instagram. MORE

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