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Becoming a Health Advocate

posted Mar 30, 2017, 2:03 AM by Jose Dasig   [ updated Mar 30, 2017, 8:20 PM ]
By: Gina Baluyot

 

Health education program in schools is very important. It is a source of life giving skills taught to children which is very crucial for them to learn in addition to the academic learnings they gain in school. This can help them become more prepared in living a healthy lifestyle.

Health education programs can also be most effective if parents are involved. They can supplement and emphasize what children are learning in school while they are having conversations and activities at home. The schools can provide information about health and making appropriate decisions concerning health issues. For example, saying no to alcohol use, drug use, and premarital sex. However, family values is crucially and equally important in inculcating strong values when it comes to health decisions.

However, there are parents who feel inadequate to talk to their child about puberty, repro­duction, sex, and sexually transmitted diseases. It would help to have a health conference with them to help them recognize just how important their role is. School nurses and health advocates can provide the general information the parents and the students need. Also, moral context may be included in the conferences or meetings.

Education seminars and education support groups for parents on issues of health and parenting are vital parts of the health promotion program. If there is none established yet, school nurses and health advocates should encourage the inclusion of such at the school level.

Teachers and students can also be health advocates. As these people have the most interactions with one another, providing positive support in talking about health concerns can be helpful. Appropriate classroom education can be helpful where teachers and students can have meaningful conversations and open fora about their health concerns.

School nurses have the most weight on their shoulders when it comes to ensuring that complete and appropriate health education program is provided in the schools. With the help of the teachers and the administrators, effective implementation of the program is possible. This includes as well the value of fitness, ensuring that healthy foods are being sold at the school canteens, wellness programs, among others.

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