NYU includes a complex network of global communities in which social and physical factors combine to influence health. Many health issues – such as violence and unintentional injury, transportation safety, and the risk of communicable disease – affect not only an individual but also the population at large. With its growing position as a global university, it is critical for NYU to focus on risk reduction strategies and proactive approaches for health and safety issues common to all students and staff studying and working at sites throughout the world.

Key Facts


Communicable Disease

  • 12.3% of college students reported negative impact on individual academic performance as a result of having a cold or the flu.10
  • Immunization can decrease the chances of getting influenza by 70-90% in healthy adults when there is an optimal match between the available vaccine and circulating influenza strains.11
  • An annual average of 41,400 deaths have been attributed to influenza using mortality data between 1979 and 2001.12
  • Nearly 100% of NYU students have received two MMR immunizations.
  • Many NYU students do not receive all of the CDC recommended vaccinations, including less than 40% receiving an annual influenza vaccination.9

Transportation Safety

  • Intentional and unintentional injuries are the two leading causes of death for 15-24 year olds in New York City.1
  • Between 1996 and 2003, a total of 3,462 NYC bicyclists were seriously injured in crashes with motor vehicles.2
  • 97% of the bicyclists who died in crashes in NYC from 1996 and 2005 were not wearing a helmet. Most fatal crashes (74%) involved a head injury.2
  • More than half of the NYU students who ride bicycles or in-line skate do not wear helmets.10
  • Pedestrian injury is one of the top ten leading causes of hospitalization due to injury for 15-24 year olds in New York City.3
  • Pedestrians accounted for 52% of traffic fatalities in NYC from 2005-2009.4
  • There are 4 times as many pedestrians killed or severely injured per mile of street in
    Manhattan as in the other four boroughs.4
  • Between 1990 and 2003, there were 315 accidental deaths on the New York City subway system.5


  • Nationally, more than 1 in 4 college-aged women report experiences that meet the legal definitions of rape or attempted rape.6
  • Between 1995 and 2002, U.S. college students ages 18–24 were victims of approximately 479,000 crimes of violence annually, including rape/sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault.8
  • Approximately 90% of NYU students report feeling safe on campus during the daytime.9

Suggestions for Parents and Families

This page is intended to be a resource containing suggestions for what you can do to increase your student’s personal responsibility for actions that contribute to a safe and healthy campus community.

Communicable Disease and First Aid

Pack a wellness kit for your student. Include health insurance and prescription drug benefits information. Additionally, keeping some basic over-the-counter supplies on hand allows your student to treat minor illnesses or injuries without having to go out when they feel sick or injured. Suggestions include:

First Aid Supplies
o Bandages for small wounds and blisters
o Gauze and tape for larger wounds
o ACE wrap for minor sprains
o Ice pack
o Heating pad
o Digital thermometer
o Antibacterial cream or ointment
o Anti-inflammatory cream (for some rashes and bug bites)
o Antibacterial cleanser to clean wounds

Over-the Counter Medications
o Antihistamine
o Antacid
o Acid reducer
o Anti-diarrhea medication
o Fever reducer / pain reducer containing acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen
o Nasal decongestant, saline spray, or nasal rinse
o Cough suppressant

Encourage your student to stay home when he or she is sick. This will enable your student to rest and recuperate, while protecting other students from getting sick too. Talk with your student about how to effectively manage absences with professors.

Review NYU student health requirements, and ensure your student is in compliance. As the world and the University become more interconnected, the emergence of infectious disease, prevalence of disease, and varying healthcare resources in different countries have the potential to impact the health and wellness of NYU students as they pass throughout the NYU Global Network University (GNU). Vaccines uniquely protect both individuals and communities; other measures such as proactive screenings for infectious disease and self-reported health histories are also critical for reducing the risk of potential infectious disease outbreaks throughout the NYU community. The University’s health requirements ensure a basic level of prevention and protection for the NYU global network. Ensure that your student has received the necessary immunizations; provide your student with his or her vaccination and medical history to submit by the University deadline. Keep a copy for yourself as you never know when they will need it again, i.e. for global travel. Please note: failure to comply with NYU student health requirements will result in your student being de-enrolled from classes and be prevented from entering University buildings. For requirements and deadlines, visit the NYU Student Health Center website.

During flu season if your student has not yet received their flu vaccine, encourage them to get it while home, or when they return to NYU. Influenza is highly contagious. Receiving a yearly influenza vaccination is the most effective way to reduce your students’ risk of catching the flu.15 Flu vaccines are important and available free or low-cost to students at the Student Health Center.


Know NYU’s security and safety information. Check out the Parent Fact Sheet. Read over the safety recommendations with your student to ensure he or she is aware of them.

Encourage your student to register his or her cell phone number into the NYU Emergency Communications System. NYU has the capacity to send blast text messages to your student’s mobile device in order to provide him or her with direct and timely emergency information in case of an emergency. Your student can update his or her cell phone number by logging into NYUHome, going to Albert, and clicking on the “Email/Cell Phone/Fax” link under the “Personal Profile” section.

For students travelling/studying as part of University-related activities, ensure your student is registered with NYU Traveler. The NYU Traveler is a tool to enhance the safety of students, faculty, administrators, and staff traveling on University-related business or activities. When your student books or registers through NYU Traveler, his or her travel plans are routed through Worldcue, a traveler safety service with which NYU has contracted. Worldcue will automatically alert the individual traveler to dangerous conditions that may have emerged where your student will be traveling, and will automatically alert the University to emergencies, allowing it to move more rapidly to assist members of the NYU community.

If you know your student will be riding a bicycle, encourage him or her to bring and wear a helmet. Empower your student to take responsibility for his or her own safety.

Know resources that are available to you assist a student who may be in crisis.

Familiarize yourself with NYU’s Policy on Sexual Assault, Harassment and Other forms of Sexual Misconduct.

Talk to your student about cyberbullying, online stalking, and how to stay safe online. Technology changes rapidly; it is important to keep current on what new devices and features your student is using, and in what ways.  Many developers of new products offer information and classes to keep people aware of advances. Additionally, existing internet websites change, and new internet websites develop all the time, so continually talk with your student about “where they are going” and explore these websites yourself. Your student may also be an important resource for information, and having your student educate you may help strengthen parent-student communication and bonding, which is important for other health issues as well.16 Be familiar with personal internet safety precautions so you can instruct your student in safe, ethical, and responsible Internet use. If see any threatening or concerning behavior on your students social media accounts, do not hesitate to contact University administration: Office of Community Standards and Compliance, Campus Safety, or the Wellness Exchange.

safe and healthy campus community indicators