Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Erwin Park

As the weather turns cooler, one of our families favorite activities is getting out in nature together and hiking.  You don't have to go far to find some great hiking trails in McKinney.

Have you ever been to Erwin Park?  It has 212 acres of beauty and wooded areas that includes 7 miles of biking trails, bathrooms (always important with kids right?), pavilions, playgrounds, campfire sites and even campsites.  It is a great place for kite flying or just throwing around a football.  I love that we have a place so close where you can make some amazing family memories.

I just want to encourage you to get out in nature with your kids and watch them explore.  It feels good to disconnect sometimes and just be together.

Map to the park:

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Crepe Myrtle Trails

This Saturday, September 23rd, is the 12th annual Crepe Myrtle Trails 1 mile fun run, 5K and 10K runs.

The mission of the Crape Myrtle Run & Festival, 10K, 5K, 1-Mile Run is to provide a fun morning of exercise and entertainment for families and participants of all ages! Our goal is to host an event that families will enjoy and look forward to for years to come.

Participants of all ages will enjoy the FUN before, during and after the race at the Myrtle Village Fun Alley & Petting Zoo. Tons of awards for all ages and lots of prize give-aways! 

This year the event will be held at Boyd High School, 600 N Lake Forest Dr McKinney, TX 75071.  To register go here: http://crapemyrtletrails.org/12th-annual-crape-myrtle-trails-1-mile-fun-run-5k-and-10k-usatf-certified-courses/

1-Mile Run/Walk at 8:00 AM timed
» $15.00 student registration (through 9/22 at 7:00 PM US/Central)
» $30.00 registration (through 9/22 at 7:00 PM US/Central)
5K Run/Walk at 8:45 AM Certified- timed
» $15.00 student registration (through 9/22 at 7:00 PM US/Central)
» $30.00 registration (through 9/22 at 7:00 PM US/Central)
10K Run/Walk at 8:30 AM Certified-timed

» $15.00 student registration (through 9/22 at 7:00 PM US/Central)
» $40.00 registration (through 9/22 at 7:00 PM US/Central)

Monday, September 18, 2017

Head Lice

September is Head Lice Awareness Month.  I attended a meeting last week with the School Health Advisory Council and here is some educational information they shared and some misconceptions about head lice.

Head lice are small parasitic insects.  They remove small amounts of blood from the scalp every few hours and are usually found close to the scalp, primarily around the ears and back of the neck.  Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice.  They can definitely be a nuisance but they have not been shown to spread disease.  For this reason, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended that students diagnosed with live lice do not need to be sent home early from school.  According to school policy, the parents will be informed and may come get the child but the child may return to the class for the day.  The child however may not return to school until they are free of live lice.  A notice will be sent home to the parents in the class.  If someone in your child's class has head lice, there is no need to panic or assume your child will get head lice.  It is best to check your child regularly to make sure they are free of lice.

The best ways to prevent transmission:
- Teach children not to share combs, brushes, hair ornaments, hats, scarves, etc
- Do not try on other people's hats (even in department stores)
- Teach children to hang coats separately - placing hats and scarves inside their jacket sleeves
- Clean or disinfect shared headgear (example: helmets) with Lysol or rubbing alcohol before being used by others

If head lice is found on your child:
- Check others in your house for signs of lice or nits.  If found, complete remaining steps on all infested individuals and continue to monitor remaining individuals.
- Use a shampoo labeled for treating head lice.  Follow instructions carefully.
- Remove nits from head by combing.  Complete nit removal is time-consuming but critical for successful treatment.
- There is no need to spray for pesticides at the home but it is important to remove all lice and nits from the house by washing (in HOT water at least 130 degrees) and vacuuming.
- There are a couple local places that for a charge will remove lice:

All information I have shared is from the Centers for Disease Control and School Health Services.  Please feel free to e-mail me (healthy_lifestyles@walkerstarspta.net) or comment on this post.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Back to School:
Healthy Sleeping Habits

If you are like my family, your sleep schedule is total chaos over the summer.  We always try to start working on appropriate bedtimes at least a week before school starts so they aren't in complete shock the first day of school.

I thought it would be good to share some sleep recommendations as we start this new school year.  I am including a range of ages as I know some have littles and some have high school kids.  Plus, are you getting enough sleep too?  :)
(Information recommended by American Association of Anatomists, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Neurological Association, and American Physiological Society)
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): 11 - 14 hours
  • Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10 - 13 hours
  • School-aged (6-13 years): 9 - 11 hours
  • Teenagers (14-17 years): 8 - 10 hours
  • Young Adults/Adults (18-64 years): 7 - 9 hours
Sleep is so important for our kids because it plays an critical role in thinking and learning.  Your cognitive processes can be hurt by lack of sleep and not getting enough sleep can affect their attention, alertness, concentration, problem solving and reasoning.  We all want our kids to succeed at school and one of the best things we can do for them is encourage good sleeping habits.

I will admit that my kids are the best at procrastinating going to sleep.  They want to tell me one more thing or read one more book (although getting them to read during the day is insane, anyone else feel this way?).  We have a routine of showers (or baths when they were little), brushing, books, and then they get a few minutes with their dad and me to talk about their favorites from the day.  It helps them know what we expect when we have a routine. We are also busy with sports and cub scouts which get in the way of our nighttime routine too.  We try to get them in bed by 8:30-9:00 every night, which gives them between 9 and 10 hours.  That is just what we do in our house.  Do you have a routine that works for your family?

Sports and activities outside of school and our homes are important but I truly believe one of the best things we can do for our children is instill good sleep habits. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Walker Stars Healthy Lifestyles Blog Introduction

My name is Megan Patterson and I am your Healthy Lifestyles PTA board member this year.  I have two kids at Walker, Luke who is in 4th grade and Lily who is in 1st.  I am also pregnant with our 3rd, a boy, due in January.

I hope to use this blog to encourage healthy lifestyles, share recipes, healthy living tips, etc this year.  I would love your feedback and participation so please leave me comments.  I am in no way perfect and would love to hear if you tried something and loved it or changed it to suit your families needs, etc.  I am all about community and I want this to be a way for us to encourage each other and learn from each other.  Also, if you have anything you would like me to research and get more information about, please let me know.

I will be posting at least once a week but if I get a lot of questions or suggestions for posts I might post more often.  There might also be weeks, like P.A.C.K. week where I post daily tips.

I am looking forward to a great 2017-2018 school year at Walker!

Family pic from our summer vacation to Hawaii

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

McKinney Farmer's Market

Looking for fresh, local food? Looking for a fun outing with your family? Don't forget about the McKinney Farmer's Market! It's a great way to find local vendors and try great samples of homemade products. For more information, please see the link below. Hope to see you there!


Coconut Fruit Popsicles

As the temperatures get warmer it's nice to have some cool treats on hand. Here is a super easy, yummy, healthy popsicle from Weelicious.com. Enjoy!