Ramona-Alessandro Elementary School
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Cool Down Strategies
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Having a bad day at school or just stressed out?  Try some of these "COOL DOWN STRATEGIES"!!

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Click above for more information!

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Heat Exhaustion or Heat Stroke
Heat Exhaustion or Heat Stroke

Have you or your child come inside from a hot day complaining of a headache or stomachache? They may be suffering from a mild form of Heat Exhaustion from not drinking enough liquids.
When your child comes to the health office with one of these complaints, I have them drink 8 or more ounces of water then wait 5-10 minutes. If the headache/stomachache is gone, I explain about drinking enough fluids on hot days and send them back to class.
Heat Exhaustion:
What is heat exhaustion? Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several hours or days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. Those most prone to heat exhaustion are elderly people, those with high blood pressure, and those working or exercising in a hot environment.
What are the warning signs of heat exhaustion? The warning signs of heat exhaustion include the following:
Heavy sweating
Muscle cramps
Nausea or vomiting
The skin may be cool and moist.
The pulse rate will be fast and weak, and breathing will be fast and shallow.
What steps can be taken to cool the body during heat exhaustion?
Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages.
Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.
Seek an air-conditioned environment.
Wear lightweight clothing.

Heat Stroke:
What is heat stroke? Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.
What are the warning signs of a heat stroke? Warning signs of heat stroke vary but may include the following:
An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F)
Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
Rapid, strong pulse
Throbbing headache
If you see any of these signs, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency. Have someone call 911 for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the victim. Do the following:
Get the person to a shady area.
Cool the person rapidly, using whatever methods you can. For example, immerse the victim in a tub of cool water; place the person in a cool shower; spray the victim with cool water from a garden hose; sponge the person with cool water; or if the humidity is low, wrap the victim in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously.
Monitor body temperature and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101-102°F.
If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
Do not give the person alcohol to drink.
Get medical assistance as soon as possible.


Test Taking Tips and Strategies for Students and Parents
Reducing Test Taking Anxiety


It's normal for kids to get nervous before a significant test. This is actually a good thing. That adrenaline boost can be helpful, but it can be hard to obtain and maintain that perfect level of nervousness. Test anxiety is when a student excessively worries about doing well on a test. This can become a major hindrance on test performance and cause extreme nervousness and memory lapses among other symptoms. The following are tips on reducing test taking anxiety.

• Being well prepared for the test is the best way to reduce test taking anxiety.

• Space out your studying over a few days or weeks and continually review class material. Don't try to learn everything the night before.

• Try to maintain a positive attitude while preparing for the test and during the test.

• Exercising for a few days before the test will help reduce stress.

• Make sure you get your rest
Make sure you will be comfortable and alert on the day of the test. Get a good night's sleep the night before.

• Dress in layers

Dress comfortably in layers so that you can take clothes off or put them on, depending on the temperature of the room.

• Eat a healthy breakfast
Nutrition also influences how well children do on test; a good breakfast is important, but a large meal right before the test can be distracting and make you sleepy.

• Pack a snack
Even if you don't normally have a snack time during the school day, you may be allowed to have one if there's a break during the test. Pack a light nutritious snack, but avoid salty foods that may make you thirsty later in the testing session.

• Show up to class early so you won't have to worry about being late.

• Chew gum (if allowed) during the test to help relieve test anxiety.

• Stay relaxed, if you begin to get nervous take a few deep breaths slowly to relax yourself and then get back to work.

• Read the directions slowly and carefully.

• If you don't understand the directions on the test, ask the teacher to explain it to you.

• Skim through the test so that you have a good idea how to pace yourself.

• Write down important formulas, facts, definitions and/or keywords in the margin first so you won't worry about forgetting them.

• Do the simple questions first to help build up your confidence for the harder questions.

• Don't worry about how fast other people finish their test; just concentrate on your own test.

• If you don't know an answer to a question skip it for the time being (come back to it later if you have time), and remember that you don't have to always get every question right to do well on the test.

• Focus on the question at hand. Don't let your mind wander on other things.

• If you're still experiencing extreme test anxiety after following these tips,  Remember to Take a deep breath.
If you are a very nervous test-taker, do deep breathing exercises before the test. You can take a deep breath and count to ten. Then take shorter deep breaths in between passages or sections of the test -- counting to three only. This exercise is fast and simple, but it really works! If you have test anxiety, keep reading for information on relaxation and visualization exercises you can practice to help calm yourself before stressful situations, like taking a test. If none of these techniques work for you, seek help from your school counselor.

Test Taking Tips for Parents

The following tips will provide suggestions for parents on how to approach test taking with their kids.

• Make sure that your child does all their homework and reading assignments, this will help make sure your child is prepared for the test.

• Encourage your child to space out their studying and homework assignments so that they won't be forced to cram on the night before the test.

• If you are anxious about your child's test, it's ok but try to keep cool around your child, you don't want them to get anxious about their tests too.

• Encourage your child to do well but don't pressure him/her. You may stress him/her out. It is important for your child to stay relaxed for the test.

• Keep a positive attitude about tests.

• Provide a quiet, well lighted area with little distractions to help your child study efficiently.

• Mark down test days on your calendar so you and your child are both aware of testing dates.

• Let your child relax for a few hours before bedtime, it can be stressful for a child to study all night.

• Make sure that your child gets enough sleep on the night before the test.

• Ensure that your child eats a healthy breakfast and avoid heavy foods that may make him/her groggy and avoid high sugar foods that may make him/her hyper.

• Make sure that your child gets up early enough so that he/she will be on time to school.

• Talking about the test with your child can relieve stress about test taking.

• If your child is struggling on their tests, talk to them about it and meet with their teacher to find out the best way to help your child.

• Praise/reward your child when they do well on a test or for their hard work preparing for a test.

• Encourage them to do better if they don't do well.

• Review the test with your child after they have taken it and go over any mistakes they have made and make sure that they understand what they did wrong and how they can improve for the next test.




Teach relaxation techniques (SEE BELOW)

"My son sometimes has problems with stressing on the day of a big test. I've found the best remedy is to have him clear his head of all the distractions or negative thoughts and take deep, relaxing breaths. And to focus on doing his best and not worrying about what grade he will achieve."

Clear minds with mint

"I've read that Peppermint helps to relieve stress, and it helps the brain to concentrate."

Instill confidence in your kid

"I tell my child to do the best he can. I tell him how well he is prepared for the test. I always try to keep his spirits up.... I also give him tips like not to rush with the answers and to stay calm."

Ease anxiety with exercise and sleep

"We go over information each night that might be on the test. The night before the test, we do a little swimming or take a walk. This gives their bodies a little stress break as well as their minds. They get a good night's rest and always a good breakfast."



Everyone should feel somewhat anxious before they begin to take a test. Anxiety becomes a problem when it begins to interfere with a student's ability to think logically or remember facts. Physical symptoms of real test anxiety include tense muscles, sweaty palms, a pounding heart, and feeling faint or nauseous. Other symptoms include the inability to remember simple things, illogical thinking, and mental blocks.

Techniques must be practiced ahead of time to really work. There is no magic cure for test anxiety; overcoming it requires practice and persistence.

1.   Relaxation
A state of anxiety is incompatible with a state of relaxation, so training in relaxation techniques is by far the most commonly recommended treatment for dealing with any type of anxiety. Systematic relaxation and desensitization have been used successfully by psychologists for many years. These procedures involve only learning two things: Learning to relax all of your muscles, and while you are relaxed imagining the anxiety producing situation. The procedure is outlined below. For a more thorough discussion refer to one of the books listed as references at the end of this handout.

The relaxation procedure involves systematically tensing and then relaxing different groups of muscles in your body:
      a.    Begin by either sitting in a comfortable chair or lying down. Move your arms toward        the center of your body and bend both arms at the elbow. Tighten your hands into fists and simultaneously tense the muscles in your upper arms and shoulders. Hold for ten seconds and then relax for fifteen to twenty seconds.
      b.    Tense your face muscles by wrinkling your forehead and cheek muscles. Hold for ten seconds then relax.
      c.    Tense the muscles in your chest for fifteen seconds and then relax. Repeat this procedure for all the different parts of your body while telling yourself that you are becoming more and more relaxed. Pay particular attention to the muscles in your neck and back since these muscles become tense easily.
      d.    After ten or fifteen minutes you will find that your body is completely relaxed.
If you practice this technique over a period of weeks you will find that it becomes easier and easier to achieve a state of complete relaxation.

2.   Visualization

While you are in a state of complete relaxation you then need to begin to visualize yourself in situations that tend to produce anxiety. For example, while you are relaxed, imagine yourself the night before the test. If this does not produce anxiety, then imagine yourself the morning of the test or walking to the room where the test will be given. If any of these images begins to produce anxiety, you will need to practice your relaxation techniques and calm yourself back down. Eventually you should get to the point where you can imagine yourself actually taking the test while remaining completely relaxed.

This technique has been shown to be better than 90% effective if it is used properly, however, they need to be practiced for several weeks to be really effective. You cannot wait until you experience an episode of test anxiety and then try to relax. It will not work..

Healthy Rhythms Newsletters
Healthy Rhythms Newsletters
The SBCUSD School Nurses from Health Services would like to share our  issues of the Health Rhythms newsletter. Parents  and staff may access previous issues by visiting http://sbcusd.com/healthyrhythms.

October 2012
November 2012
December 2012
January 2013
February 2013

San Bernardino City Unified School District, 777 North F Street, San Bernardino, CA 92410, (909) 381-1100
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