Child health is very important as it ensures the overall healthy development and growth. During growing years children undergo the risk of various diseases which can cause friction in their learning and development.
Health Issues to Look Out for in School Going Children
About 65.88% percent of the school going children are affected by dental caries.1 It occurs because of the poor dental hygiene knowledge and neglecting attitude towards dental health from parents and children.
Children adapt certain eating habits which make them more prone to develop dental caries. It leads to toothache, tooth decay which in turn affects the daily activities of the child.
Vision is very important for the child’s success in school. If the vision suffers, chances are high that his school work suffers too.
Causes Of The Ocular Problem In School Going Children:
- Consistently watching television while sitting close to it.
- Reading or writing in a place with less light.
- Playing video games or being in front of computers for long.
- Continuously using mobile phones.
- Eye problem can also be genetic.
If your child is constantly rubbing his eye, holding his book too close to read, tilting his head to see better, using his fingers to guide what he is reading then there can be chances he is suffering from some ocular problem which needs to be checked immediately.
Hearing impairment prevalence in school going children is though less, but a matter of serious concern. It results from frequent ear infections, viral or bacterial infections or head injury. Signs which indicate that the child is suffering from hearing impairment are,
- If the child is not quick to hear things
- If he finds it difficult to pay attention
- Bad academic performance
- Sitting close to the television, or increasing the sound to unreasonably loud levels.
- Constantly uses what or huh when told something.
- Delay in the ability to speak or use language as compared to others.
Overweight and Obesity
Prevalence of overweight or obese children has increased since the past few years.2 Obesity is referred to as a global epidemic. This problem is mainly due to impaired nutrition and lack of physical activity.
Obesity has various health risks associated with it such as diabetes, heart diseases, and stroke. It is also associated with psychological effects such as low self-esteem and lack of confidence.
If checked earlier and steps taken to treat it then some of the health problems can be reversed.
Malnutrition and specific micronutrients deficiency which include iodine, vitamin A and iron are most common amongst the school going children. This is the main cause of decreased learning capacity, lower productivity, and child mortality.
If detected early the nutritional deficiencies are reversible unless they include some serious problems like stunting or other long term consequence of early malnutrition.
How To Deal With Health Issues in School Going Children?
It is important to run a student health program which works on the holistic idea of continuous care, review, and improvement. It should have an integrated approach and should focus on all the people around the children who are responsible for their overall development such as students, parents, teachers and other school authority.
The schools should have a planned medical room with the following amenities:
- Full time or a part-time physician in school premises
- Well trained nurses in school hours
- A clinic set to take care of the basic ailments
- Easy connect to physician, hospital or clinic in case of a medical emergency
- Electronic medical records for consultation
There should also be health sessions which include lectures on topics like:
- First aid
- Hygiene habits
- Positive thinking
- Sex education
- Anger management
- Dietary habits
- Time management
- Memory techniques
- Traffic sense
The medical record of each child should be maintained on an easy to access electronic sheet, which contains health details of a particular child.
The benefits of having such a health management program in the school are:
- Less behavior problem in children and reduced leaves from school.
- Positive spirit and improved performance.
- Increased cooperation from parent and more health awareness.
- Increase in rate of wellbeing at school and a better work environment
- Improved focus on children and increased coping skills.
- More empathy and ability to handle stress.
Education is fundamental to health and health is vital for efficient education, which is why a child should know the importance of being healthy. This can benefit him lifelong.