There has always been avid talk and research around improving the health and well-being of children in schools, colleges, and universities. While most people understand the importance of being healthy, very little is done to inculcate a sense of conducive living in the next generation. School health services usually concentrate on the physical and primary mental health of children when in school and tend to ignore the larger picture of the community. Programs in school target individual needs while crucial decision makers neglect the other important aspects of health services.
Health education starts at home with parents, and many schools conduct educational seminars on health and hygiene for parents, caregivers, and students themselves. Unfortunately, these programs and workshops are not made mandatory and are viewed as a waste of time by many adults. These seminars act as support groups for parents and caregivers wishing to improve living conditions and health of children.
Relevant issues such as mental health, emotional health, nutrition, puberty, alcoholism, drug dependency, AIDS prevention and reproductive health are all spoken about at these meetings. It is often difficult to speak with children about these issues since there might be awkwardness in connecting with smaller aged kids. Remember, it is always best to give your child the correct information rather than letting them learn through friends and social media. For example, informing them that there are birth alternatives available, such as treatment with Fertility Plus or even adoption, should future reproductive health issues arise and they wish to start a family when they’re older. With the right exposure, your children will grow up to be aware and focused adults since you are directly responsible for teaching moral and ethical values to your kids.
Healthy drinking water
Often, this is the most neglected part of health education. While all schools concentrate on physical and mental health, correct drinking water is usually the last thing on anyone’s mind. Students and teachers benefit greatly from health drinking water since this helps cut the dependency on aerated drinks, sodas, and juices with preservatives. Drinking water also helps regulate body functions, weight, and supports the body in fighting dehydration in fluctuating weather conditions.
Most schools have cafeterias and canteens that serve meals and snacks to children. An excellent way to avoid vending machines and fast food is to serve food that is a healthy balance of fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, proteins, grains, and fats. Green leafy vegetables, salads, cereal, and dairy products all help in maintaining a well-balanced diet.
Helping children understand the importance of healthy food through colourful charts, and signboards in cafeterias and at home also help change their diets in the long term and spreads awareness about correct nutrition. This will help children in intuitively knowing which foods are good for their bodies and which ones are to be rejected. This will help them lead healthy lifestyles from an early age.
It is a well-known fact that children emulate their adults. Teachers, parents, and caregivers that are active and move around are known to have students and children that are also active. Making children move around instead of keeping them seated all the time helps keep their bodies supple and also helps them concentrate.
Since most children have Physical Education compulsory in the school curriculum, they are forced to move around at least half an hour each day. This movement must increase to an hour or two each day to help them remain fit and healthy. Extracurricular activities can help tremendously in physical exercise and confidence building.
Mental and Emotional Health
Young adults and children today are extremely sensitive to their surroundings. Unfortunately, many are exposed to the adverse emotional responses that neglect, child abuse, family abuse, and disruptive families and societies cause. Other causes of mental and emotional trauma in children are sexual abuse, domestic violence, and exposure to bullying by peers.
It is crucial to speak to children openly about these topics in school and at home and ensure that they are equipped to understand the differences in touch from adults and peers, and how to approach a responsible person. Schools today concentrate on the mental and emotional wellbeing of children to ensure that they grow up to be moral adults with ethical values.
Understanding and taking a stand on health education in schools is a building block towards the wellbeing of the next generation. Introducing awareness and providing for child safety and development is an integral part of school life. The physical and mental welfare of children is as important as learning knowledge-based subjects and getting good grades in the long term.