In this week’s Healthy Tip Tuesday, Trinity Hosptial Twin City is sending a reminder out to the role schools play in healthy kids!
The following information is courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Each school day provides students the opportunity to learn the importance of behaviors and skills needed to engage in a healthy lifestyle. It is easier and more effective to develop healthy behaviors during childhood than to change unhealthy behaviors during adulthood.4 Schools can contribute directly to a student’s ability to successfully practice behaviors that promote health and well-being.5
Health Risk Behaviors Often Begin in Adolescence
Many adolescents engage in behaviors and experiences that place them at risk, sometimes without realizing it. Preventable health risk behaviors are often established during adolescence and can continue into adulthood, contributing to several of the leading causes of death, disability, and social problems including:6
These risk behaviors can result in serious health outcomes such as early sexual initiation, substance use, and violence, which can adversely affect adolescents and young adults.7
The Role of Schools in Adolescent Health
Youth should be taught early about HIV and STD prevention with information they can understand and use. This includes education about health risks and skills to help delay sex and prevent HIV and STDs. Improving the health of youth requires working through education agencies to reach adolescents in schools. Schools can impact the health and academic performance of students by working collaboratively with CDC to:
School Health Programs Are Effective
CDC’s school-based programs improve the health and well-being of youth by working with education and health agencies and other organizations to reduce HIV, STDs, teen pregnancy, and related risk behaviors and experiences among students.
Societal Influences on Adolescents and Young Adults
Environmental factors contribute to the health of adolescents. Adolescent behaviors are influenced at the individual, peer, family, school, community, and societal levels.8 Because many sectors of society contribute to adolescent health, safety, and well-being, a collaborative effort that engages multiple partners is necessary. Such joint efforts can also help to promote a more collaborative approach to addressing adolescent health—one that views each adolescent as a whole person, recognizing and drawing upon his or her assets and not just focusing on risks.9
School environments can affect student health and academic outcomes.10 School and family connectedness during adolescence are linked to reductions in poor health outcomes in adulthood. 11To have the most positive impact on adolescent health, schools, government agencies, community organizations, and community members must work together. Providing safe and nurturing environments for youth can help ensure that they will be healthy and productive members of society.