Fraser Health Notice – 2024 April

Physical activity is a necessary requirement for optimal health – and the benefits are even greater if you can do it outdoors.

Regular physical activity in childhood helps to develop cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and bone density, and being outdoors is known to improve mental health.

There are many benefits to unstructured, outside play. When children spend time outside, they:

  1. Sit less, move more and play longer – key to cardiovascular health and fitness.
  2. Have healthier eyes – 10+ hours a week outside reduces nearsightedness risks. 
  3. Sleep better – sunlight helps regulate melatonin and sleep patterns.
  4. Enjoy improved mood – exercise reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  5. Feel more connected to nature – experience calm and develop mindfulness.

Planning active outings doesn’t have to be challenging or costly. Here are some ideas that you can try this week:

Find more ideas to keep your kids active through the year on Fraser Health’s website:

Anti-bullying, cyberbullying and digital literacy  

Help keep kids stay safe from bully behaviour online and at school

Bullying can affect all children and has negative impacts on the victim as well as the bully.

Bullying can appear in several forms:

  • Verbal bullying: Examples are name calling, making fun of someone, making jokes at another’s expense, unwelcome teasing and spreading secrets someone disclosed in confidence.
  • Physical bullying: Pushing, shoving, pinching, hitting, spitting, damaging property and vandalizing lockers or school supplies. 
  • Social bullying: Examples are spreading rumours, being exclusive with friends and excluding people from events or study groups.
  • Cyberbullying: Using social media to intimidate, exclude and disseminate private information or using texting, emails or other applications to damage someone’s reputation.

Strategies focused on building self-esteem, developing respectful relationships and providing clear but respectful communication tend to be the most successful.

Children who are bullied need to be empowered and supported in developing healthy relationships.

Bullies on the other hand, need to learn social responsibility, empathy, right from wrong and remedial actions, such as rebuilding relationships and apologizing. 

What can you do as a parent to prevent or deal with bullying?

  • Encourage your child to report bullying they either experience or witness to school staff, such as teachers, counsellors, principals or parents.
  • Provide opportunities for open dialogue about sensitive topics.
  • If your child is the bully, encourage them to reflect on their actions, and how they would feel if the tables were turned and they were on the receiving end.
  • Help your children develop digital literacy so they are aware of what cyberbullying looks like and have strategies for handling cyberbullying when it arises.

Find more advice for preventing or dealing with bullying on Fraser Health’s website at:

Help Keep OLM Healthy This Winter

The cold weather is upon us, and with it comes an increased chance of illness for both students
and staff. You can help keep our OLM community healthy by using the tips below. We will be
reinforcing them at school too!

All Information directly taken from the Public Health Communicable Disease Guidance for K-12 Schools

  1. Perform regular health checks, and keep your child at home if they are sick.
    ● Regularly check to ensure that your child is not experiencing symptoms of illness that
    would limit their ability to participate fully in regular activities before coming to school.
    ● If your child is showing signs of respiratory illness such as coughing, sneezing and/or
    congestion they should stay home until they are well enough to participate in regular
    activities, or otherwise advised by a healthcare provider. Those experiencing certain
    illnesses, such as gastrointestinal illness caused by norovirus, may be advised to stay
    home for longer.
    ● In all cases, children should only return to school when symptoms have improved, and
    they feel well enough to return to regular activities. If you are unsure or concerned about
    your symptoms, connect with your healthcare provider or call 8-1-1.
  2. Encourage frequent handwashing using the following guidelines:
    ● Hand washing with plain soap and water or using an effective hand sanitizer that is at
    least 60% alcohol reduces the spread of illness.
    ● Hands should be washed often and thoroughly, making sure to create a good lather with
    soap. Ensure that hand sanitizer covers all surfaces of the hands, fingers and thumbs.
    ● If hands are visibly soiled, alcohol-based hand sanitizer may not be effective at
    eliminating microbes. Soap and water are preferred when hands are visibly dirty.
  3. Reinforce good respiratory etiquette using the following guidelines:
    ● cough or sneeze into an elbow or a tissue.
    ● throw away tissues and immediately perform hand hygiene after use
    ● refrain from touching the eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    ● refrain from sharing any food, drinks, or unwashed utensils

What about masking?
Current BCCDC guidance states that “the decision to wear a mask is a personal one, based on
individual preference. Some students and staff may choose to continue to wear a non-medical
mask or face covering throughout the day or for certain activities.”

To be most effective, wearing a mask should be combined with other important protective
measures such as getting vaccinated, staying home when sick, and regularly practicing hand
hygiene. As much as possible, those choosing to mask should touch only the straps of their
masks, and should change their masks if they become wet or dirty.

Pedestrian Safety Tips

Teach Children How to Cross the Street Safely

  1. Look left, then right, then left again before crossing the street, even if you’re at a crosswalk or if there is a walk signal. Then remind them to continue looking until safely across.
  2. It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street comers, using traffic signals and
    crosswalks. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  3. Just because you can see a driver doesn’t mean the driver can see you. Try to make eye contact with
    approaching drivers so you know that they see you.
  4. Wait for the car and driver to stop before you cross and then follow the walk signs.
  5. Children under 10 need to cross the street with an adult. Every child is different, but developmentally, most
    kids are unable to judge the speed and distance of oncoming cars until age 10.
  6. Encourage kids to be especially alert for cars that are turning or backing up. Be careful in parking lots,
    driveways, and other places where pedestrian crashes are common. Look for signs that a car is about to
    move or back up, such as rear lights, the sound of the motor, and wheels turning.
  7. Teach kids not to run or dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
  8. If kids are walking when it’s dark out, teach them to be especially alert and make sure they are visible to
    drivers. Have them wear light- or brightly-colored clothing and reflective gear.

Take Action Against Distraction

  1. Cross the street responsibly – don’t text, listen to music, or do anything else that will distract you. Stay aware
    of your surroundings and walk, don’t rnn, across the street.
  2. Teach kids to put phones, headphones and devices down when crossing the street. It is particularly important to
    reinforce the message with teenagers.
  3. Pull headphones down or tum off the volume before crossing the street.
  4. Be aware of others who may be distracted and speak up when you see someone who is in danger.
  5. If kids need to use a cell phone, teach them to stop walking and find a safe area to talk.

Let Your Actions Speak as Loudly as Your Words

  1. Be a good role model. Set a good example by putting your phone, headphones and devices down when walking
    around cars.
  2. When driving, put cell phones and other distractions in the back seat or out of sight until your final destination.
  3. Be especially alert and slow down when driving in residential neighborhoods and school zones. Be on the lookout
    for bikers, walkers or runners who may be distracted or may step into the street unexpectedly.
  4. Give pedestrians the right of way and look both ways when making a turn to spot any bikers, walkers or mnners
    who may not be immediately visible.

By following these tips while driving and teaching your kids to be cautious pedestrians, you can help keep your children out of harm’s way throughout the school year.