It is health which is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver: Mahatma Gandhi
Health education provides general knowledge for health promotion and disease prevention. In addition, it inspires adolescents to acquire healthy beliefs and knowledge and adopt healthy lifestyle choices. Health education includes health services, physical education, psychological services, nutrition and food programs, health promotion and a healthy environment, disease prevention, etc. It is the development of the individual, group, institutional, community and systemic strategies to improve health knowledge, attitudes, skills and behavior. It aims not only to educate children about health but also to promote healthy behavior and a positive body attitude. Education and health are closely related. The evidence suggests that healthy young people are more likely to learn more effectively; health promotion can help schools to meet their social aims and to improve educational attainment; young people that attend school have a better chance of good health; young people that feel good about their school and who are connected to school and significant adults are less likely to undertake high-risk behaviours and are likely to have better learning outcomes. Health education programs help empower individuals and communities to live healthier lives by improving their physical, mental, emotional and social health by increasing their knowledge and influencing their attitudes about caring for their well-being. Health education focuses on prevention, increasing health equity, and decreasing negative health outcomes such as the availability and accessibility of health services, benefiting all stakeholders.
Health education was not given much importance earlier and was underestimated. But with raised health awareness, people learned the importance of health education at home, in school, and in communities. Before a child approaches puberty and adolescence, they should be aware of various healthy and risky behaviors. If they make inappropriate decisions, it might prove fatal and even lead to death. These choices include alcohol consumption, tobacco and drug abuse, sexual behaviors, risky driving, and other risk-taking behaviors. The growing age of children is sensitive in terms of adopting healthy behavior. This behavior has lifelong consequences. In schools, the young ones might come across many health themes such as physical growth and development, nutrition intake, diseases and their prevention, mental health, reproductive health, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, etc. It is said that children should be educated two years before the start of these behaviors. The right age is when they are seven to eight years old. Children should be taught what is right for them and which behavior can result in harmful consequences. Positive health behaviors should be cultivated in them in the early years of childhood. Exercise and good nutrition should be part of the daily routine to live a healthy life. Education can play a counterbalancing role in shaping a normative culture of safety, moderation, and informed decision-making. Education about substance abuse is an important part of helping individuals understand the many aspects of this topic.
School health programs are one of the most excellent strategies to prevent health and social issues. After family, schools are the only place that prepares the young ones to become productive adults. Schools play a significant role in influencing students’ behaviors. School interventions can foster effective education, promote healthy practices and prevent destructive behavior. Schools play an essential role in reducing health risks through effective health education. It becomes more effective when given by qualified teachers who connect students to health services, encourage parents and community participation, and instill a positive relationship. Health education is a part of routine education that addresses various dimensions of health. It is designed to motivate and help students maintain health, prevent diseases and avoid risky behaviors. School health services are designed to protect and promote health. These services are designed to ensure prompt use of health care services, control and prevent communicable diseases, provide education and counseling services, provide emergency care, etc., for individuals, families, and the community. Since health is linked to educational achievements, promoting health in schools is a must for its success. Moreover, schools are the mode of facilitating health-enhancing behaviors. Thus a well-coordinated school health program proves beneficial in the overall development of the students.
Schools are becoming more widely recognized as a focal point for initiatives to improve the health and well-being of our young generation. The emphasis is on prevention. If we wish to solve major health and societal issues, we must approach students early, before they become they face issues which may prove insurmountable to their health and well-being. We must provide children with the foundational skills and knowledge required for them to develop into healthy adolescents and productive adults. And the ideal location to accomplish this job is in our schools, where the vast majority of youngsters congregate every day. A comprehensive health education program plays a crucial role in a child’s education, from kindergarten to high school. Health education teaches children physical, mental, social, and psychological health (overall well-being). It helps students to make healthy choices and avoid risky behaviors.
Health Education in school is one of the most powerful ways to assist with present and future health issues for students – both mentally and physically. Ensuring that children are physically fit from a young age can help prevent future health issues for the students. Most people see him as a way to ensure that students are kept physically healthy – but it also teaches them many lessons which can be converted into real-life scenarios when they grow up. Education, lessons and exams can cause mass amounts of stress for students of a certain age – especially in high school. Health education can help to give them a break from the school-related stress that they may be feeling throughout the day and give them a fun and healthy outlet for this.
Schools can achieve the mission of health education when the students and staff are healthy, physically fit, mentally stable, and socially apt. Poor physical and mental health among children prevents them from showing up in school, paying attention in class, managing anger, having destructive habits, etc. Health Education in school and other learning opportunities outside the classroom build skills and foster traits that are important throughout life such as hygiene, conscientiousness, perseverance, a sense of personal control, flexibility, the capacity for negotiation, and the ability to form relationships and establish social networks.
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