Keeping Your Student Healthy On Campus
You can help your student be successful at Purdue by reminding them of the important things they can do to stay healthy. While this is not an exhaustive list, these are some major examples of how your student can be healthy at Purdue. You also can read a report containing our most recent student survey data about impediments to academic success by clicking here.
- Encourage your student to get an annual flu shot. Influenza spreads quickly on college campuses and vaccination is the best way students can protect themselves. There is no convenient time for a student to miss classes because they are sick with the flu. Many students will not readily get a flu shot without some nudging from parents. Students may make an appointment to receive a flu shot in the Allergy and Immunization Clinic. There is a charge for the flu vaccine, and with a student’s authorization may be billed to their health insurance.
- The meningitis vaccine, while not required for enrollment, is strongly advised particularly for freshmen and students living in residence halls. Meningitis can be life altering or even fatal; although rare, cases can spread quickly and the results can be devastating. The Student Health Center offers meningitis vaccines year round by appointment or you may prefer to have your student vaccinated at your home physician’s office prior to coming to campus.
- Encourage students to practice good hygiene practices to help control germs and keep themselves healthy. College environments allow for easy transmission of many viral, bacterial, and other communicable diseases such as flu, colds, staph infections (MRSA), noroviruses (e.g. “stomach flu”), scabies infestations, and more. Often, the best prevention for these types of problems is through good hand washing, avoidance of shared utensils/cups/towels/linens, and cleaning of commonly touched surfaces.
- In addition to good hygiene, you may also want to remind students of the importance of a regular sleep and eating schedule. Often, with many activity and food choices available to them, students may not remember the sound principles you have taught them about healthy living and a periodic reminder may be helpful.
- Alcohol and Other Drugs often present a challenge to young students; please have a conversation with your student about the importance of engaging in safe, legal use of alcohol and other drugs. More information may be found here.
- As you pack the many necessary things your student needs for his/her dorm room, please remember to include the following self-care items. These will help get your student through the night before he/she can come to PUSH. Minor injuries and illness can occur at any time, so please help your student be prepared by packing the following items and reminding him/her how to use them.
Insurance card or copy of both front and back of insurance card
Bandages (regular, knuckle, and extra-large)
Triple antibiotic ointment for open wounds
Paper tape for wound dressing
4x4 gauze pads for cleaning (with soap and water) and dressing minor wounds
Fever reducer/pain reliever (Tylenol or ibuprofen)
Benadryl tablets (for minor allergies and occasional nausea)
Tweezers for removing splinters
Throat lozenges for irritated throats
Cough drops for coughs from colds
Rolaids or Tums for indigestion or heartburn
Calamine lotion or cortisone cream for bites or poison ivy
Hand disinfectant for everything
Burn cream (aloe vera gel or a burn salve) for minor burns, including sun burn
Sun screen to prevent sun burn
Insect repellant to minimize risk of bug bites
Instant ice pack for sprains or bumps
A list of your student’s current medications as well as any known allergies. We suggest that he/she create and print a wallet card he/she carries with him/her.
Gatorade/bottled water, particularly good for upset stomachs and dehydration
Soup or other easy to make meal, good for sore throats and flus
Cleaning wipes, for sanitizing commonly used surfaces like door knobs, keyboards and ear buds