Winter 2017


Sequoia Healthcare District NotePamela_Kurtzman

Dear SCSD Families

As we enter a new year and a new chapter in American government, we are also entering a time of uncertainty. The unknown can lead us to feel vulnerable and anxious and so now more than ever, we must reassure our children that they are safe and that we will protect them.

In this issue of the SCSD Wellness Journal, we share important information and tips for keeping your kids safe on the streets, on their phones, on the internet, and more. Despite the challenges ahead, we are so fortunate to live in this country and to be part of a school community whose steadfast commitment to providing a safe and healthy environment and quality education helps our children thrive.

Sequoia Healthcare District shares in this commitment to ensure that all children and families in our community are afforded every opportunity for health, education, safety and wellbeing no matter where they come from, their economic background, their ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, or culture.

I wish you all a safe and happy 2017.

Pamela Kurtzman

Director of Grants and Programs, Sequoia Healthcare District

A Talk with Kidpower

Erika Leonard, Program Director

What safety trends/issues have you seen over the years?

One thing that keeps surfacing year after year is how parents react to safety concerns. When something bad happens parents’ anxiety/fear sets in and then, over time, drops off. This creates highs and lows – everything is either good or terrible. Coming from a place of fear can scare kids. Instead, parents should practice safety on a regular basis and not in reaction to an event.

What advice do have for parents?

Parents should ask themselves: what safety skills does my child need and how can I practice them? Grownups can get stuck in their worry. Instead they need to ask what skills are important. Building the skill reduces the fear.

What about online safety?

Get grounded in b­­asic social safety skills rather than focusing on the next technology item. Discuss what digital safety means in your family. Utilize the digital citizenship and safety agreement that we have created.

Also, don’t just do what all your friends are doing. Know your own child and think about their specific needs and skills.

Kidpower Safety Tips for Parents

Use Kidpower’s Safety Tips Handout to start teaching children how to be safe from abuse, bullying, harassment, assault, and other violence.

Safety Tips include:

  • Stay aware
  • Move away from trouble
  • Stay calm and confident
  • Protect your feelings

Helmet Safety: Does Your Helmet Fit Properly?

Helmet Fit Test

  1. Eyes: Put the helmet on your head. Look up. You should see the bottom rim of the helmet.
  2. Ears: Make sure the straps form a “V” under your ears when buckled. The straps should be a little tight but comfortable.
  3. Mouth: Open your mouth as wide as you can. Does the helmet hug your head? If not, tighten the straps.

PE Pedestrian Safety Workshop

Pedestrian Safety Workshop

In December, the San Carlos Safe Routes to School Program sponsored a pedestrian safety workshop at White Oaks and Heather Schools.

At White Oaks the program included:

  • Hands-on instruction on how to use pedestrian flags.
  • A video on steps to cross street safely.
  • Safety activity with Officer from San Mateo County Police Department.

At Heather the program included:

  • A powerpoint presentation.
  • Video clips.
  • Interactive quizzes.
  • An interactive demo of how to use pedestrian crossing flags.

Here is what Allison Liner, White Oaks Principal, had to say about the event:

“I’m so grateful that our students had the opportunity to learn and practice pedestrian safety skills. These skills support our culture of walking and biking to school, foster a spirit of environmental stewardship aligned with our strategic plan, and empower students to gain independence and confidence as they learn to navigate our community.”

(Programs for Arundel, BA, and Arroyo will be held in the spring)

One of the most important aspects of parenting is finding humor in our day-to-day.

Safe Routes to School (SRTS)

Bike to School Day at Central

SRTS is a national program.

Their research shows that walking to and from school increased from less than 14% to more than 17% between 2007-08 and 2014.

Closer to home we have support and funding from the San Mateo County SRTS program.

The mission of STRS is to increase walking and biking to school and as a result increase air quality.

Did you know? 20% to 30% of morning rush hour traffic can be attributed to parents driving their children to school.

San Mateo County
Percentage to School

Partnering with the city is important since the city receives money for infrastructure upgrades, such as safer intersections.

The City of San Carlos has helped us keep our kids safe when walking/biking to and from school. Here are some ways the city has helped:

  • Pays 50% of the crossing guard costs.

  • Maintains the pedestrian crosswalk paddles.

  • Added access ramps, striping, signage, and red zones.

We want to express our thanks to the city and our crossing guards for their dedication and support.

Safety Tips for When Kids are Home Alone

Wally Rosales,
School Resource Officer

Wally gave us some tips on kids staying home alone…

How old is old enough to leave a child at home?

California does not set a specific age, but rather, considers the maturity level and comfort of the child. Here is a list of questions to help guide you.

General Guidelines:

  • 7 and under – Should not be left alone for any period of time.
  • 8 – 10 years – Should not be left alone for more than 1 ½ hours.
  • 11 – 12 years – May be left alone for up to 3 hours but not late at night.
  • 13 – 15 years – May be left unsupervised but not over night.
  • 16 – 17 years – May be left unsupervised.

Safety Guidelines:

  1. Things to memorize: full name, address, telephone number.
  2. Post an emergency list.
  3. Let neighbors know your child may be home alone.
  4. Call the child several times.
  5. Teach your child how to lock windows and doors.
  6. Tell your child not to go into other people’s homes without your permission.
  7. Designate a safe house for the child to run to if they feel in danger.
  8. Teach children kitchen safety and what is/is not okay when you are not at home.

Emotional Safety (a Parent’s Perspective)

”Call it spirited, stubborn, determined, or persistent. Whatever word you use to describe that quality, my daughter has it. While this trait will serve her well later in life, for now it is nothing but hair pulling to parent. Let’s take last Saturday as an example…” continue reading

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Contact Mindy Hill, Wellness Coordinator


Cellphone Safety

Phone Facts:

  • 77% of teens (between the ages of 12 and 17) own a cell phone.
  • 56% of tweens (ages 8 through 12) own a cell phone.
  • 75% of teen drivers admitted to texting while driving.
  • 28% of teens admitted to sending inappropriate pictures via text.
  • 22% of parents felt that 10 was a good age to get a cell phone.

Kids age 13 to 17 send more than 3,400 texts a month. That’s seven messages every hour they are awake.

Before your child heads out remind them of these important rules:

  • Never walk while texting or talking on the phone.
  • If texting, move out of the way of others and stop on the sidewalk.
  • Never cross the street while using an electronic device.
  • Don’t walk with headphones
  • Be aware of the surroundings.
  • Always walk on the sidewalk if one is available; if a child must walk on the street, he or she should face oncoming traffic.
  • Look left, right, then left again before crossing the street.
  • Cross only at crosswalks.

What is wrong with this picture?

40 percent of teens say they’ve been hit or nearly hit by a car, bike, or motorcycle while walking. The primary culprit: distraction from a mobile device.

As their parent, it is important to focus on:

  • Restricting the amount of time your teenager spends on his or her phone. This includes calls, texts, and data usage.
  • Encouraging activities that will draw your child or teenager back into the “real world” so (s)he is more attentive of his or her surroundings.
  • Understanding the features on your child’s phone so you can answer questions and offer guidance.
  • Updating the privacy settings on your child’s phone.
  • Understanding how your child is using their phone, so you can keep an eye out for suspicious behavior.
  • Enforcing the rules.


Cell Phone Safety Tips

Head Up, Phone Down When Headed Back to School

Parent Eventsparent-ed

Below is a sampling of upcoming parent education events. Click HERE for a complete list in our calendar section.