Health Education in Schools
The AAFP supports the principle that health education should be included in the curriculum of grades K through 12 and continued in the community through adult education programs.
Students at all levels should be provided opportunities to:
- Obtain accurate information on health, illness, and illness prevention.
- Obtain accurate information on health topics most relevant to the student population, such as substance abuse, sexual abuse, suicide, safety, nutrition, obesity, eating disorders, sexual activity, teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, mental health, family violence, risk taking behavior, coping with peer pressure and stress.
- Gain understanding of growth and development from conception through adulthood. Gain an understanding of family health history and its impact on one's own health risks, and learn how one's health behavior is related to health status.
- Discuss personal attitudes, values and beliefs relating to health. Discuss the processes through which social values are acquired and the ways in which they can affect health.
- Develop critical thinking and decision-making skills in terms of health and sickness evaluation.
- Develop an awareness of the limitations of medicines and medical science in their personal care.
- Become interested in assuming responsibility for personal health.
- Develop a personal life-long health life style plan, including areas of healthy eating, exercise, social relationships, and avoidance of risky behaviors.
- Develop a sense of social responsibility and participate in promotion of health education to peers, family and community.
Through such well-designed programs of health education, an impact can be made to improve the environmental and life-style factors in health in many segments of the population. (1989) (2010 COD)