The Inside Scoop: Keeping Healthy with Melanie Bales


As the new school year begins, parents and students often face common health challenges, from colds and coughs to stomach bugs. On the first episode of The Inside Scoop for the 2023-24 school year, District Nurse Administrator Melanie Bales shares valuable insights on how to keep students healthy now and all year long.

Ms. Bales has over 20 years of experience in school health services and oversees a team of dedicated nurses in every school responsible for the well-being of more than 100,000 students across the District.

When asked about the surge of illnesses at the start of the school year, Ms. Bales explained that the increased interactions between students during the summer break lead to the sharing of germs once they return to school. Most of these illnesses are caused by viruses. To prevent the spread of viruses, Ms. Bales recommends the following strategies:

Regular Handwashing: Emphasize the importance of good hand hygiene among students and staff. Proper handwashing can significantly reduce the risk of spreading germs.

Adequate Rest and Sleep: Encourage students to get enough rest and sleep, as fatigue weakens the immune system.

Stay Hydrated: With hot weather prevailing, students should stay well-hydrated to maintain their overall health.

Stress Management: Find ways to minimize stress for students, as it can negatively impact the immune system.

Balanced Meals and Exercise: Eating nutritious meals and engaging in physical activity will strengthen students' immunity and overall health.

Ms. Bales also discusses the protocol for determining when a child should stay home from school. She advises parents to keep their child at home if they have a fever of 99.5 or higher, along with other symptoms like coughing or sore throat. Medication to reduce fever should be stopped for 24 hours before returning to school.

Today's episode covers this and much more to help promote a healthier and safer learning environment. Click here to listen now.