Back-to-School Health Toolkit
Back-to-School Health Toolkit
The Alameda County Health Care Services Agency (ACHCSA) recognizes the importance of connecting families and school staff with resources to ensure schoolchildren start the school year on a positive note. From masking, COVID-19 vaccinations, immunizations, nutrition, and everything in between. The ACHCSA created the 2022 Back-to-School Toolkit to disseminate vital outreach materials to Alameda County families. The toolkit provides plenty of information to parents to ensure their child/children will be healthy mentally and physically this school year.
The toolkit informs readers about immunizations. It provides readers with the immunization requirements in California and provides links on how to access immunizations.
Next, the toolkit has a section on COVID-19 testing. “The California Department of Public Health encourages all schoolchildren to access at home COVID-19 testing as they return to school following breaks. Check with your school district about test kit distribution.”
Parents are encouraged to:
1. Test their children for COVID-19 before they return to school from break.
2. Keep their children home for at least five days if they test positive.
3. Share the test results with the local health department via the Primary.
Households are eligible to receive a third round of eight additional at-home, rapid COVID-19 tests from the federal government. Free tests may also be available through your health care or insurance provider. School administrators can email schoolOTC@cdph.ca.gov with questions.
Even though masking is no longer required indoor in Alameda County, masks are strongly recommended by the ACHCSA as COVID-19 cases remain high in Alameda County.
California State Epidemiologist and former Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Erica Pan reminds Californians to take steps to reduce risk:
• Get vaccinated and boosted.
• Wear a well-fixed, high-quality mask indoors, especially in crowded or poorly ventilated settings.
• Get tested if exposed or symptomatic, and before and after large gatherings.
• Stay home if ill or positive.
Millions of children get sick with seasonal flu yearly, and thousands are hospitalized. Vaccinating against flu is the best way to protect yourself, protect others around you and keep your family healthy and out of the hospital.
Annual flu vaccination for everyone six months of age and older is recommended. It takes a couple of weeks after vaccination for the body to build immunity, so the CDC recommends that adults and children older than six months get a flu vaccine by Oct. 31. Even if you wait until after October, get your flu vaccine and reduce the risk of illness!
California Dental Requirements
The State requires children entering kindergarten to have a dental visit to check for oral problems. This check must be done before the first day of school. For more information, visit https://dental.acphd.org/resources/general-public.
Alameda County provides meals during the school year at no cost to students. Learn more about this program at www.acoe.org/meals. Make every day a healthy snack day! Check out the Personal Recipe Finder at https://healthysnackday.com to discover recipes based on the flavors you and your family enjoy.
Mental Health Resources
Supporting a child’s mental health leads to better outcomes, including positive behavior and decision making. Students’ mental health impacts many areas of their lives, including at school.
The National Suicide 988 Prevention Lifeline connects people experiencing mental health-related distress — whether that is thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress — with locally trained crisis counselors.
Alameda County’s 988 hotline also has a website people can visit at https://988alamedacounty.org.
Other mental health service resources in Alameda County include:
• Alameda County Mental Health Services Act, which funds effective treatment, prevention and early intervention, outreach support services, and family involvement programs.
• Crisis Support Services of Alameda County, which supports people of all ages and backgrounds during times of crisis, works to prevent the suicide of those who are actively suicidal and offers hope and caring during times of hopelessness.
• Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Children and Youth Services (0-24), which provides mental health services to children, youth, and young adults ages 0-24 years old.
• Family Paths, which strengthens family relationships by providing mental health and supportive services with respect, integrity, compassion, and hope.
To read the complete 2022 Back-to-School Toolkit, visit the Alameda County Public Health Department website at https://acphd.org.