Health and Wellness Standards
Health and Wellness Standards
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Health and Wellness Standards
In partnership with our residents, Gwinnett Parks and Recreation provides high quality, broad-based parks, facilities, programs, and services creating a sense of community, enabling a safe and secure environment, and enhancing Gwinnett's quality of life.
Download Health and Wellness Standards PDF.
Wellness Guidelines are a written set of standards an organization agrees to follow to provide a healthy environment. Wellness Guidelines are important tools for promoting healthy habits for adults and children where they live, work and play.
Gwinnett Parks and Recreation will:
- Offer a variety of planned physical activities for persons of all ages and abilities.
- Give all park and facility users access to healthy food and beverage options.
- Partner with local community members, organizations, and businesses to promote healthy habits and programs to residents and staff of Gwinnett County.
- Provide day camps with healthy and safe environments for participants.
- Deliver safe and healthy environments for all park and facility users to exercise, socialize and play in.
- Ensure that staff operates in safe and healthy workplace environments.
- Uphold a Tobacco-free Park System to keep all park and facility users and staff safe and healthy.
Planned Physical Activities for all Ages and Physical Abilities:
- Park programming includes physical activities for children, adults, and older active adults.
- Park therapeutic programming includes physical activities for people with disabilities.
- Partner with Live Healthy Gwinnett and its partner steering committee to develop ideas and programs to foster healthy lifestyles for our residents and employees.
Public Access to Healthy Foods and Beverages:
- At least 50% of products offered in food and beverage machines are to be healthy options. All vending contracts will abide by this percentage and be audited regularly.
- Bottled water is available in all beverage vending machines.
- Concession stand managers are encouraged to provide healthy choices at sporting facilities.
- Clean drinking water is available at all facilities and events.
- Healthy food choices are available at 85% of Gwinnett Parks and Recreation sponsored events.
Gwinnett Parks and Recreation Partnerships:
- Gwinnett Parks and Recreation collaborates with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and The OrganWise Guys, Inc. to promote healthy habits in our community health standards, summer camps, and year-round programs.
- Through partnerships with Clemson University, maintenance staff is certified in playground maintenance and inspection standards.
- Gwinnett United in Drug Education (GUIDE), Inc. has been a community partner for over 25 years, educating communities about substance abuse prevention and youth development.
- Partners with more than 30 Gwinnett Athletic Associations to provide space for children and adults to participate in a variety of sports.
- In partnership with the Gwinnett Parks Foundation, GCPR’s 501(c)(3) non-profit, “Park’nership” allow residents to connect to nature and their local parks by inviting them to take part in the beautification process. The event promotes new relationships, feelings of ownership and increased park use. The foundation's Health and Wellness Scholarship program helps to assist residents' needs.
- Community-wide health initiative, Live Healthy Gwinnett, encourages those who play, live, and learn in the Gwinnett community to invest in personal wellness. This initiative focuses on four areas of wellness: Be Active, Eat Healthy, Get Checked, and Be Positive.
Healthy and Safe Environments for Summer Camps:
- Campers are provided with clean-drinking water and do not have access to sugary drinks like soda, sports drinks, sweet tea, lemonade, and juice drinks or fruit juice during the campday.
- Parents are encouraged to provide healthy meals and snacks for their children. Weekly newsletters are distributed to parents and guardians with nutrition tips and physical fitness actives to do at home.
- Personal electronics are discouraged to limit screen time.
- Camps include healthy habits messaging through Strong4Life and the The OrganWise Guys, Inc. curriculum.
- Camps provide more than 60 minutes of physical activity daily.
- Campers are educated on the benefits of healthy eating.
- Environmental science and nature hikes are part of our summer camp and spring break curriculum.
Safe and Healthy Environments for all Park Users:
- Playgrounds are covered in soft surfaces to provide safe places to land in the event of falls.
- Playgrounds are inspected regularly by Gwinnett Parks and Recreation staff members who are Certified Playground Safety Inspectors.
- Parks provide trails and open areas for exercise and activities that are highly visible and highly visited during normal park hours.
- Police officers use parks to complete reports, providing a police presence and deterring crime.
- Staff is trained on concussion prevention and treatment, CPR, First Aid, Child PredatorProtection, and Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting.
- Park facilities and parking lots are well-lit with interior and exterior lighting.
- In larger park properties, the trail systems have 911 HELP Locater Markers in the case of an emergency. The marker ID numbers link into the GIS System.
- A Safety Committee is formed each year comprised of Community Services staff that review accident, incident, and rescue reports, inspect parks and their elements, and make recommendations for safety alterations.
Healthy Work Environments:
- Breastfeeding is encouraged, and mothers are provided with private space and time to pump.
- The Live Healthy Gwinnett’s steering committee and Community Services Safety Committee, formed of Gwinnett Parks and Recreation staff, give a voice to all employees.
- Staff is trained on proper hydration and are provided with clean drinking water.
- Hepatitis B vaccines are available to all staff.
- Modified guidelines for caterers asking to provide more nutritious food options during programs, events, and staff gatherings.
- Through the BeWellBeSafe Human Resource’s Wellness Initiative, employees can access:
- Online educational courses related to your health and benefits
- Wellness Credits
- A Wellness Assessment and Biometric Dashboard to track your potential health risks
- Many more resources for your improved health
Tobacco-free Park System:
- In 2020, the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners accepted the recommendation by the Recreation Authority Board to Chapter 70 of the Park Ordinances with a change to a Tobacco-Free Park System.
- This policy restricts the use of any tobacco product that contains tobacco or nicotine within a County park site. This includes cigarettes, cigars, pipe, snuff, chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco, bidis, snus, dissolvable tobacco products and electronic cigarettes/vaping.
- Prior to the ordinance change, Gwinnett Parks and Recreation had designated Tobacco-Free ‘Areas of Play,’ which prohibited the use of products on all playgrounds, youth and adult sports fields, dog parks, skate complexes, outdoor pools, river channels, interactive fountains, community gardens, outdoor courts like basketball, sand volleyball courts, tennis courts, historic sites, and enclosed public spaces.
- Establishment and maintenance of a tobacco-free system is an effort to recognize our growing responsibility in promoting a healthy community.
- This will help in protecting the health of our workforce, park users, and the environment. Gwinnett’s parks and outdoor public spaces act as a relaxing refuge for all; for many, these outdoor spaces may be the only available places to be in touch with nature and enjoy access to clean, fresh air.
- A Tobacco-Free Park System is a step toward stewardship of community health, public lands, and environmental assets in Gwinnett!
Gwinnett Parks and Recreation is committed to providing a healthy environment for park visitors and employees. These Catering Guidelines are to ensure healthy choices are available at events and meetings.
Ask for healthy options: Let restaurants or caterers know you are seeking healthy selections. They may be able to make suggestions or modify their standard catering order to fit your needs.
Build a balanced meal: A balanced plate means making half your plate vegetables and fruits, and the other half whole grains and protein. Examples of balanced catered meals could include:
- Spaghetti with meatballs, a side salad, mixed vegetables, and fruit
- BBQ pork, bread, greens, corn, and peaches
- Chicken or steak tacos, black beans, salad, and fruit
- Baked chicken, brown rice, green beans, carrots, and fruit salad
- Deli meat sandwiches on whole grain bread, salad, and an apple
- Grilled chicken salad, whole grain bread and fruit
Choose more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains: If you are ordering boxed lunches and they give you a choice between an apple and chips, choose the apple. Pick whole wheat pasta, brown rice, or whole wheat bread when given the option as well.
Limit fried foods to one item: If ordering fried chicken, do not choose French fries or other fried items as a side dish. Offer an alternative to the fried dish as well, like baked chicken.
Include protein at breakfast: Protein foods include eggs, low-fat milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, low-fat granola, peanut butter (for waffles or toast), and turkey sausage.
Save desserts for holidays and special events: Limit each guest to one serving and provide low-fat milk and water. Examples of balanced holiday meals include Turkey with dressing, baked sweet potatoes, steamed green beans, and one slice of pumpkin pie with low-fat milk or water. Pot roast, mashed potatoes, carrots, whole wheat roll, and one cookie with low-fat milk or water.
Provide water and limit sugar-sweetened beverages: Ensure water is available at all gatherings and events. If catering is just for kids, provide only water or low-fat milk. If ordering sugary drinks, including soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks, and 100% juice, order the smallest size available (for example, a can instead of a 20 oz. bottle). If sweet tea is offered, make unsweetened tea available as well.
Concussion and Head Injury Procedures
With the passage of House Bill 284 – Return to Play Act by the Georgia Legislature in 2013, new requirements to educate coaches, youth athletes and their parents on the dangers of concussions in competitive youth athletic activities became effective for all competitive sports in January 2014.
The Georgia Department of Public Health is referring everyone to the "Heads Up - Concussion in Youth Sports" program offered by the Center of Disease Control. Gwinnett Parks and Recreation will use the aforementioned education program for all competitive sports provided by GPR and will recommend the same education program to all youth sports partners (Gwinnett County Athletic Associations and Gwinnett County Summer Swim Leagues) that utilize GPR facilities.
A concussion is a type of brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. An athlete does not have to lose consciousness to have suffered a concussion.
The following guidelines and procedures are being implemented by GPR with the intent to reduce the potentially serious health risks associated with competitive sports-related concussions and head injuries. GCPR will educate coaches, referees, site supervisors, parents and participants of the signs, symptoms, or behaviors consistent with sports-induced concussions.
Symptoms Reported by Athlete
- Balance problems or dizziness
- Double or fuzzy vision
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Feeling sluggish
- Feeling foggy or groggy
- Concentration or memory problems
Signs Observed by Others
- Appears dazed or stunned
- Is confused about assignment
- Forgets plays
- Is unsure of game, score, or opponent
- Moves clumsily
- Answers questions slowly
- Loses consciousness
- Shows behavior or personality changes
- Cannot recall events prior to hit
- Cannot recall events after hit
Parents, coaches, assistant coaches, and site supervisors associated with competitive sport activities should become familiar with and have access to a copy of GPR’s Concussion and Head Injury Guidelines.
- Parents, coaches, and assistant coaches are strongly encouraged to view the “Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports” online course from the CDC.
- Staff and site supervisors will take the “Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports” online course.
- GPR will provide concussion educational information to all coaches and officials.
- GPR will provide concussion educational information to all youth athletes and their parent/legal guardian. The parent/legal guardian must sign an acknowledgement of receipt.
- GPR will provide concussion educational information to all GCAA and GCSSL who utilize GPR facilities in the GCAA and GCSSL Policies and Procedures Manual. It is recommended to all GCAA and GCSSL that they provide educational information per HB 284 to all coaches, participants, and their parents.
Suspected Concussion Procedures for GPR Provided Programs:
- Any participant exhibiting the signs, symptoms or behaviors associated with a concussion or head injury: (1) must be immediately removed from the activity. Remember, when in doubt sit them out!
- The injured participant’s guardian should be immediately notified of the suspected concussion or head injury so they can be evaluated by a healthcare professional.
- An Accident or Injury Report Form must be submitted to GPR within 24 hours or on the next business day following the incident.