School Health Action
Aug. 12, 2014

The New ASHA — What Happens Next?
One year ago, ASHA began to rebuild, retool and rebrand. We embarked on an ambitious reorganization based on best practices in nonprofit management. Sound familiar? As school health practitioners, we advocate for the use of best practices in schools and classrooms but many of us had little understanding of best practices in business. The ASHA Board of Directors knew that the organization had to change in order to remain relevant and sustainable.

We recommended a new name for the organization. You told us, loud and clear, that you did not want to change the name of the organization. We listened. You did support new bylaws and a new cause-based mission. How will we put the new by-laws and mission into action? Click here to find out what happens next.More

Make a Difference for the Next Generation of School Health Professionals
Don’t miss out on your chance to make a difference for the next generation of school health professionals by either contributing donations or bidding on items at the 2014 ASHA Silent Auction that will be held on Friday, Oct. 10, in conjunction with our Annual School Health Conference in Portland. Proceeds from the Silent Auction will provide funds for both student scholarships as well as ASHA’s exciting and recently expanded Leadership Development Program.

Prior auction items that have been donated include jewelry, purses, autographed sports memorabilia, a week’s stay at a vacation cottage, school health reference materials and much more! All items for the silent auction must either be hand-carried to the conference or shipped directly to the hotel no earlier than Monday, Oct. 6. If you will not be in Portland to receive the item, but would still like to contribute an item or a cash donation, please contact ASHA staff at for assistance. If you are planning to contribute an auction item, please complete the 2014 ASHA Silent Auction Form and submit it to ASHA staff at by Sept. 22. Completion of this form helps the ASHA Staff plan appropriately for a seamless 2014 Silent Auction! More

Study: Sex ed needs to start much, much earlier
Global Public Health
According to a new study from Georgetown University researchers, sex education classes need to be taught to children much earlier than the current accepted age. If programs, based on the healthy adolescent framework, rooted in human rights and gender equity, are implemented at a time when adolescents are still malleable and relatively free of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) problems and gender role bias, very young adolescents can be guided safely through this life stage, supported by their parents, families and communities. More

School vending-machine bans and kids' nutrition
Banning vending machines from schools without making other food policy changes can actually lead to greater consumption of fast food and soda, according to a new U.S. study. If kids still have access to high-fat, high-calorie foods and beverages from other sources, restricting vending-machine fare won't have much effect, the University of Illinois at Chicago researchers explained.More

Study examines role of school culture in promoting bullying, bystander intervention
Medical Xpress
A new study of middle school youth reveals the powerful role of school culture, including teachers' and staff members' perceptions, in creating environments that promote or discourage bullying and bystander intervention. More than 3,600 students from 24 schools in Illinois and 12 schools in Kansas were surveyed about bullying and violence in their schools. Led by bullying and youth violence expert Dorothy L. Espelage at the University of Illinois, the research team also interviewed 732 teachers and staff members at schools in Illinois and 715 of their counterparts at schools in Kansas.More

Study: Playing video games for an hour could be good for children
Western Daily Press
Playing video games for less than an hour a day can lead to children becoming better adjusted, a study has found. The research, carried out by Oxford University, found that young people who indulged in a little video game-playing were associated with the highest levels of sociability and were most likely to say they were satisfied with their lives compared with those who had never played or who used video games for three hours or more. More

Room for improvement in elementary school children's lunches and snacks from home
Tufts University
Open a child's lunch box and you're likely to find that the lunches and snacks inside fall short of federal guidelines. Those are the findings of a study conducted by researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. The findings are published online ahead of print in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. More

High school lacrosse players risk concussions, study finds
Daily Digest News
High school students who play lacrosse are increasingly being exposed to the risk of concussions and other injuries during both practice and competition. According to a new study conducted at the Colorado School of Public Health and the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, high schoolers who play lacrosse experienced 1,406 injuries throughout 2008 to 2012. More

Program to combat childhood obesity gets kids in daycare moving
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center via ScienceDaily
A turn-key intervention program significantly increased physical activity levels among children in daycare, a study shows. The treatment groups also achieved 91 percent of the physical activity goals in the improvement plans submitted by the directors of the daycare centers where the program was implemented. More

Early depression is difficult for kids to shake off later
Tech Times
Depression in kids in preschool is likely to continue throughout adolescence. Researchers at the Washington University found in a study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry that tracked 246 children from ages 3 to 5 and 9 to 12 that depressed preschoolers were 2.5 times more likely to exhibit depressive symptoms into elementary and middle school. More

School violence, gun-related injury in top 10 US child health concerns
University of Michigan Health System via ScienceDaily
Childhood obesity remains the top health concern for children, but when asked about national concerns, adults put school violence and gun-related injuries in the top 10. In the poll's annual top 10 list, a nationwide sample of adults were asked to identify the biggest health concerns for kids in their communities, as well as kids nationwide. Overall, childhood obesity is rated at the top of both lists: 29 percent of adults said obesity is a "big problem" for children in their local communities and 55 percent said it is "big problem" across the country. More

How involving students can prevent school violence
Whether you want to believe it or not, school violence is a thing. One's not talking about bullying — either in person or cyberbullying, though those are clearly huge issues for school aged children as well — but about more serious school violence. Columbine. Virginia Tech. Sandy Hook. While those names are sadly well known to many people, there are many, many more instances of school violence that just aren't as widely reported as these.More

Frequent marijuana use bad for teens' brains
The American Psychological Association via PsychCentral
Smoking marijuana just once a week can have a "significant" negative effect on the brains of teenagers and young adults, including cognitive decline, poor attention and memory and decreased IQ, according to psychologists discussing the health implications of legalizing marijuana at the American Psychological Association's 122nd Annual Convention. More