Tick Talk

There is no denying that spending time outdoors is healthy physically and mentally. However, you do need to be aware of ticks. Ticks are abundant in grass and wooded areas and bite both people and animals. Being bitten by a tick can make you sick because they carry diseases, most commonly Lyme Disease. So what should you do?

The best thing to do is to prevent tick bites. You can do this by:

  • Avoiding sitting on the ground
  • Checking yourself, your pets, and your family members for ticks. Don’t forget to check your hair!
  • Using bug spray with DEET (follow the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid your hands, eyes and mouth)
bullseye rash

Bulls Eye Rash, often appears after a tick bite


A tick

tick removal

Tick removal in three steps

Unfortunately, tick bites do occur even if you do your best to prevent them. If you are bitten by a tick, you should remove it as soon as you notice it is there. Ticks need to be fully removed and the best way to do it is by using tweezers and pulling straight up (don’t squeeze or twist the tick!). After the tick is removed, watch for signs of illness. A rash, flu-like symptoms, and a fever are common initial symptoms of Lyme disease. If you notice any of these you should see a health care provider!


How Much Sleep do you Need?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the amount of sleep that a person needs is based on his or her age. Newborns are believed to need 14-17 hours of sleep per day while adults only need 7-9. Your body sleeps in order to stay healthy and function as best as it can.

The quality of sleep that you get is just as important as the amount of time you spend asleep. If you find yourself waking up a lot at night or not being able to wake up in the morning even after 8 hours of sleep you may need to make some changes!

sleep image

Tips for getting a better sleep:

-Leave your cell phone, iPad, laptop and TV off once you get into bed.

-Exercise. You will be healthier and sleep better.

-Don’t sleep in too much on the weekends! It is best if your sleep schedule is the same all week.

-Avoid caffeine

-Use relaxation techniques like yoga, deep breathing or meditation before bed

How many hours do you sleep a night? What changes can you make today to get a better sleep tonight?





National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

Did you know that May is National Physical Fitness and Sports month? School nurses from around the country are teaming up with the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition to promote this great event!



School nurses have been asked to challenge students, staff, parents, and community members to get in 30 minutes of physical activity per day during the  month of May. We hope by the end of the month, everyone will see a change in their health and wellness and will continue healthy practices beyond May! Developing life-long habits of regular exercise and physical activity during this month will create a path for us all to improve our health!

let's move


The nurses are ready to participate! Miss Cincotta will try to go outside and ride her bike or walk each day. Miss Quinn is going to run and try rollerblading. Mrs. Trainor is looking forward to walking more in the spring weather and trying out yoga. Miss Comeau will try hiking and kayaking this month.


Other LABBB Community members are going to participate too. Miss Ormond is looking forward to walking on the Lexington High School track after work and Mrs. Burke is going to try some exercise videos at home, and Ms. Sainte is going to try water aerobics. Mr. Barbieri will be continuing his Brazillian jiu-jitsu practice, walking, and weight lifting.


Will you participate in National Physical Fitness and Sports Month? What are some activities you will try?


Spring is Here! Boost Your Health by Spending Time Outdoors!

“The warmth of the sun on your skin, the sounds of the birds in the trees- stepping outside can help anyone feel instantly better” writes one author for the Oprah Magazine. A new book Your Brain on Nature written by Eva Selhub, MD and naturopath Alan Logan promotes the incredible physiological effects of being outdoors including increased immune activity and less perceived effort during exercise. A study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that those who walked on an outdoor track moved at a faster pace and perceived less exertion than when exercising indoors.


Studies also show that when walking outside people view their to-do list as more manageable. It has been shown that even just looking at a natural scene activates parts of the brain associated with balance and happiness. Studies show that when viewing images of mountains, forests and other outdoor landscapes a part of the brain which is linked to positive outlook and emotional stability experiences heightened activity.


Here are five things you should know about what being outside can do for you!



  1. Your vitamin D levels will go up- Vitamin D is also known as the “sunshine vitamin”. Studies show Vitamin D may have protective effects against many health related issues such as osteoporosis, cancer, depression, heart attacks and stroke. Studies also show many Americans don’t have enough Vitamin D circulating in their bodies. GOOD NEWS! Research shows spending time outside in the sunshine for 10 to 15 minutes a few times a week will allow your body to make all the Vitamin D it needs. Of course remember for a longer period of sun exposure sunscreen is recommended.sun in sky
  2. You’ll get more exercise- in many instances indoor living is associated with being sedentary, particularly for children, while being outdoors is associated with activity. Studies have shown that children were more than doubly active when they were outside. There are so many great things to do while outside! Being outside often leads to more time for walking, biking, gardening, cleaning up the yard and putting your body in motion.kids exercising
  3. You’ll be happier- Light tends to elevate people’s mood and overall sense of health and well being and there is usually more light available outside than inside. This means allowing yourself to simply sit in the sunlight can benefit your health. People often engage in more physical activity when they are outside. Outdoor physical activity has been shown to relax and cheer people up which might mean more smiles and laughter! Researchers at the University of Essex in England are promoting the idea that exercising in the presence of nature, “green exercise” benefits mental health. One study showed that just five minutes of “green exercise” resulted in improvements of self-esteem and mood.gardening
  4. Your concentration will improve- Researchers have reported that children with ADHD seem to focus better after being outdoors, scoring higher on a test of concentration after a walk through a park than after a walk through a residential neighborhood or downtown area. Often times with outdoor activity, the greener the better.Student Writing
  5. You may heal faster- Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh reported that spinal surgery patients experienced less pain and stress and took fewer pain medications during their recoveries if they were exposed to natural light.

 kids on balls

So whether you take a few minutes to sit outside in the sunlight, go on a walk, or spend some time in the garden you can take advantage of the many health benefits of being outdoors.





Tudino, C. (n.d.). Nature’s touch: 5 ways to boost your health by going outside. Retrieved from http://www.oprah.com/health/Health-Benefits-of-Nature-Spending-Time-Outside


Good vs Bad Sources of Sugar

Recently, Miss Quinn visited the Minuteman Career Directions (check out their blog! : http://minutemancd.wordpress.com/) students to discuss sugar in our diets. Below is some of what she presented:

sugar blog 1

First, the group discussed what they had heard about sugar. Students mentioned that they heard too much sugar could lead to fat, and that some sugars can be good for our health. The group already knew some helpful facts about sugar! Students discussed how they feel after too much sugar or not enough sugar.

sugar blog 2

We then discussed why our bodies need sugar. We need to eat some sugar not only for energy, but so our organs can have energy to complete certain processes.


Next, we covered “good” and “bad” sugars. Good sugar sources are those we can find in nature- mainly fruits and vegetables. Class members named their favorite good sources of sugars. Many students named blueberries, and watermelon was another popular choice. Two students stated that carrots and cucumbers were their personal favorites. We then talked about the not-so-good sources of sugar, like cakes, cookies, and soda. Everyone had some fun naming their favorite sources of this sugar type: Swiss Rolls, M and Ms, donuts, etc. These sugar sources are not-so-good, as the sugar content is often high and from an unnatural source.

sugar blog 8

M and Ms- delicious, but not the best source of sugar our bodies need.sugar blog 3

Fruits and vegetables- a much better choice for a sugar source.

We also talked about hidden sugar- that is, sugar that is in things we think may be healthy. We looked at how much sugar is in soda, Gatorade, and even fruit juice.


sugar blog 4


First, we thought apple juice was a low-sugar choice, but look at how many sugar cubes are in an apple juice!

Then, we looked at some nutrition labels and attempted to pick out the healthiest choice. We learned here that the lower sugar option is not always the healthiest! We must consider the source.

 sugar blog 5

An apple has about 13 grams of sugar.sugar blog 6

One cup of Gatorade has 14 grams of sugar (notice that there are 4 cups in one bottle!).sugar blog 7


This label is for one cup of grapes. One cup of grapes has about 23 grams of sugar. We discussed that although that is more sugar than one cup of Gatorade, grapes are the better choice as the sugar is from a natural source!

The students now have an assignment to try to replace three not-so-good sources of sugar with good sources of sugar. One student has already made some changes and passed in his assignment!



Can you switch a bad sugar for a good sugar?

Antibacterial Soaps: Harmful or Helpful?


Many consumers when looking for types of soap for use like it to say  “antibacterial” on the label. Especially during the winter months better known as cold and flu season, some consumers try to decrease their risk of getting sick at all costs. Colleen Rogers who is one of the lead microbioloist at FDA has recently stated that “There currently is no evidence that over-the-counter (OTC) antibacterial soap products are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water(FDA, 2013).” Could this mean that we are unnecessarily exposing our bodies to ingredients that could potentially be harmful not helpful? The FDA has published an article taking a closer look into some of the most common active ingrediants in popular antibacterial soaps.

What makes soap “antibacterial”?


Antibacterical soaps contain chemical ingrediants that plain soap does not, they are added to the soap to prevent bacterical contamination. Many of these soaps contain an ingrediant called  Triclosan, which has recently become a concern to some environmentalists. When animal studies were performed it showed that Triclosan (when used frequently and for a prolonged period of time) may have caused an alteration in hormones in the animals. In leui of this recent data, the FDA and EPA (environmental protection agency) have joined forces and are reviewing Triclosan’s effects from two different perspectives, to better understand how the ingrediant may or may not affect humans. Until we understand the effects completely it is still safe to use anitbacterial products and frequent handwashing is encouraged.



There has been a lot of buzz around the “best practice” for hand hygiene in past years, but everyone can agree with the FDA when they emphasize that “hand washing is one of the most important steps people can take to avoid getting sick and to prevent spreading germs to others (FDA, 2013).” Using any type of soap and warm water, plus scrubbing rigorously for 15 seconds kills the most germs using friction to kill the bacteria. “Regular hand washing, particularly before and after certain activities, is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others (FDA, 2013).” To ensure every stays happy and healthy this winter season make sure to wash your hands regularly!




FDA. “U.S. Food and Drug Administration.” FDA Taking Closer Look at ‘Antibacterial’ Soap. Food and Drug Administration, 16 Dec. 2013. Web. 06 Feb. 2014.


Heart Health Month: Heart Attacks

Did you remember that February is Heart Month? Although today is the last day of February and Heart Month will be ending, we should think of our hearts all year!

heart month


This week we will talk about heart attacks.


When people experience heart attacks, blood and oxygen can not get to places it needs to be in the heart. Without blood and oxygen, parts of the heart may stop working correctly. Think of a time when your foot fell asleep from sitting on it too long- remember the tingling and numb feeling? When your foot does not get enough blood and oxygen, it falls asleep. When your heart doesn’t get enough blood and oxygen, it doesn’t work and the rest of your body does not get the blood it needs!

heart steth


You can prevent heart attacks by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and not smoking. What if someone you know has a heart attack? Do you know what a person looks like when they have a heart attack? Would you know what to do?


What does a heart attack look like?

People having a heart attack might say they have:

  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back.
  • A weak or dizzy feeling.
  • Chest pain or discomfort.
  • Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder.
  • Trouble breathing

People having a heart attack might look like:

  • They are having a hard time breathing.
  • Their skin is pale or grey in color
  • They are sweaty

What do i do?

If you think a friend, family member, teacher, or co-worker is having a heart attack, stay with them! Call 911 immediately and let the operator know where you are, and that someone may be having a heart attack.



Can you name three signs of a heart attack?

Healthier Recipe: Devil’s Food Cupcake

As we have discussed previously on the blog, there are healthy dessert choices. Options like fruit, or Spring Snowcones are usually better options than cakes and cookies. Sometimes, you would like to have a cake or cookie! It is okay to have baked items some times, but not every day.


This week we would like to share nutrition facts for Devil’s Food Cupcakes from Food Network. We found it in the healthy eating section of the webpage. We will also share the ingredients and nutrition facts for chocolate cupcakes you can buy in the store.

hostess cupcakes

Take a look at the nutrition facts for each cupcake:
Food Network Healthy Chocolate Cupcake:Calories 310; Total Fat 16 g; (Sat Fat 6 g, Mono Fat 5 g, Poly Fat 2 g) ; Protein 5 g; Carb 40 g; Fiber 3 g; Cholesterol 45 mg; Sodium 230 mg

And now, the nutrition facts for the store-bought chocolate cupcake:

Hostess Cupcake:Calories: 179, Calories from Fat 60,Total Fat 6.7g, Saturated Fat 3.4g, Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0g, Monounsaturated Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 6mg, Sodium 246mg, Carbohydrates 29.1g, Dietary Fiber 1.1g, Sugars 20.2g, Protein 1.1g


Let’s compare a few key nutrition points: calories, fat, sodium, and carbohydrates.


Calories- the Hostess cupcake has fewer calories, almost half!

Fat- Hostess wins again, with over 50% less fat.

Sodium- Food Network cupcake has less sodium, but both cupcakes are very close

Carbohydrates- Hostess has fewer carbohydrates.


If the healthy cupcake is on the healthy section of the website, but the Hostess cake has better nutrition facts, what is going on here?!

The store-bought cupcake is likely half the size of the home-baked version.


Why would Food Network call their cupcake healthy?

When we think about what is healthy, and what is not, we have to think about what goes into a food. Although the Hostess cupcake nutrition facts make it look healthier there are many ingredients in the cupcakes. If you make your own cupcakes at home, you know exactly what is going in to them!


What is the best option?

We think the best option would be to make the Food Network cupcakes, but make sixteen instead of eight. This way, you can still learn a bit about cooking and baking, enjoy a cupcake, but not be over filled!




Heart Health Month

Did you know that February is Heart Health Month?

heart month

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. This means that more men and women die each year from heart disease than other diseases or illnesses.

In this post,we will talk about different types of heart disease and what you can do to keep your heart healthy.

You may have heard of family members, friends, or famous people who experience heart attacks or strokes, or have conditions such as coronary artery disease, or heart failure. All of theses conditions can be very harmful, and can limit your daily activities.


You can prevent heart disease by doing some of the following things:

  • Try not to eat too much salt or sodium. You can do this by skipping the salt on your food!salt
  • Exercise regularly. Try to walk or play a sport with a friend in your neighborhood for a half hour a few times per week.weight heart
  • Quit smoking, or don’t start smoking at all. Smoking cigarettes increases your risk for heart disease.No_Smoking_page


Share these tips with your friends and family members! You could really help them stay healthy.


What will you try to do to keep your heart healthy?



Happy LABBB Bloggers Day!

Happy LABBB Bloggers Day

Happy LABBB Bloggers day!

The purpose of LABBB Bloggers day is to showcase blogs written LABBB community. These blogs were built to share what students, teachers, and specialists are doing in and out of the classroom.

Check out these LABBB blogs: