By: Gina Baluyot
While many parents are concerned with the academic education of their children, there are some who are as conscientious in the learning that goes out of the classroom. One very crucial type of learning that is sometimes overlooked is health education among school children.
A comprehensive health education program is an important part of the curriculum which most schools should consider including in their education program. This could be taught as early as in kindergarten and continue through high school. The program includes an introduction to the human body and to dynamics of health care, diet and nutrition, promotion of health, and prevention of illness.
There are many health issues and concerns among this age group. They are most exposed to different health threats which might lead to lifelong consequences. Properly educating them about these health issues is vital to protect and equip them to maintain a healthy body and over-all health.
Some of the health themes included in the school health education program are nutrition, disease prevention, physical growth and development, reproduction, mental health, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, consumer health, and safety (example: first aid, crossing streets, playing outdoors, Heimlich maneuver). The aim is to escalate the child's health knowledge and to create positive attitudes toward his/her own well-being, and to promote healthy behavior.
Active involvement of the students in health education in many subject areas is being encouraged. Life skills are being taught to them and not merely academic skills. These students at their various ages will require knowledge and skills in health. For young children, they are prone to accidents, swallowing objects, like other older children. In puberty and adolescence, sanitation, knowledge about alcohol and drug abuse, sex education, personality education, risk-taking behaviour and stress management.
Research shows that educating children about alcohol abuse at least two years before the behaviour is likely to start is most effective. The same may be true to drug abuse and sexual behaviours. Presenting risks of such untoward behaviour may help the school children become aware of the consequences of these and help them decide on what is best for them.
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