Teaching health education in our schools is an essential tool used in the development for our children lives, as it provides an introduction to the human body and to factors that prevent illness and promote or damage health. As a child, I always remember my mother teaching me to wash my hands after going to the bathroom and to use the paper towel to grab the door handle on the way out, but I never truly understood WHY until later on in life once I stated getting sick. Learning the consequences for my actions is a great way to get the information to stick as a child, but our aim should be to prevent illness and not to remedy it.
“The middle years of childhood are extremely sensitive times for a number of health issues, especially when it comes to adopting health behavior that can have lifelong consequences. Your youngster might be exposed to a variety of health themes in school: nutrition, disease prevention, physical growth and development, reproduction, mental health, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, consumer health, and safety (crossing streets, riding bikes, first aid, the Heimlich maneuver). The goal of this education is not only to increase your child’s health knowledge and to create positive attitudes toward his own well-being, but also to promote healthy behavior.”
Promoting healthy behavior at a young age helps to create a habit for our children, but health education should be an ongoing classroom and household discussion throughout all of their lives. “Health education programs are most effective if parents are involved. Parents can complement and reinforce what children are learning in school during conversations and activities at home. The schools can provide basic information about implementing healthy decisions—for instance, how and why to say no to alcohol use. But you should be a co-educator, particularly in those areas where family values are especially important—for example, sexuality, AIDS prevention, and tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use.”
We must work continuously for our children’s welfare and give them the opportunities to talk and become educated on these issues. To learn more about the approaches we can take to ensure our children are being exposed to health education at an early age and beyond, enjoy this fantastic article from Healthy Children: