May 2018: Five Ways to Help Youth Stay Healthy & Engaged This Summer
As summer approaches, many adolescents and their families are gearing up for a break from school. Check out the resources below to help encourage adolescents to stay safe, healthy, and engaged this summer, whether they are in school, at work, or at home.
Use TAG Action Steps & Resources for Professionals
Adolescent Health: Think, Act, Grow® (TAG) is a national call to action that provides action steps and resources for professionals, families, and youth to support the health and development of America’s adolescents. Professionals who work with adolescents in after-school, summertime, or community programs can check out the updated TAG Playbook and website for information and tools to support adolescent health.
Fit in Outdoor Activities
Youth gain physical and mental health benefits when they are physically active. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adolescents get 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day. Warmer weather brings more opportunities for outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, or swimming. Check out the Youth Physical Activity Guidelines Toolkit for strategies that schools, families, and communities can use to inspire youth to get outside and be physically active.
Line Up Healthy Meals
Summer is also an excellent time to learn more about healthy eating. Adolescents can get started with healthy eating tips from the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition, and use personalized tools from Choose My Plate. Additionally, the Summer Food Service Program can help adolescents combat hunger when school meals are not available.
Connect to Mental Health Support
It is important to be a listening ear for adolescents who may be experiencing stress, trauma, or mental health disorders. Being out of school in the summer means some teens may lose a vital route to the ongoing support they need. Be sure to check in with teens, know how they’re doing, and connect them to mental health treatment services if needed.
Engage Teens in Learning
Many teens take on summer jobs or internships, volunteer, attend camp, or take summer school classes to expand their horizons and learn new skills. See how communities, families, and students can take steps to stay engaged in summer learning. The National Summer Learning Association also has community and family resources to keep youth learning.
Share on Social Media
Facebook: #Summer is around the corner and some youth programs are warming up to make the most of out-of-school time. Summertime programs give youth safe environments to develop social skills and build strong relationships with their peers and adults. https://bit.ly/2qjkwlj #TAG42Mil
Twitter: This summer, make sure you have a game plan for engaging youth. @TeenHealthGov has action steps and resources to help community leaders and other caring adults engage adolescents in promoting their healthy development. https://bit.ly/2nLgRr3 #TAG42Mil #summerbreak
Content last reviewed on August 23, 2018