Health Education in Schools
The AAFP supports the inclusion of health education in the curriculum of grades K through 12 and continued health education 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, intimate partner violence, suicide, safety, nutrition, obesity, eating disorders, sexual activity, teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, 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 health risk, and learn how individual 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.
- Develop skills to recognize physical, emotional, or social stressors and how to effectively communicate those concerns.
- 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.
Well-designed health education programs, can help to improve the environmental and lifestyle factors that lead to improved population health. (1980) (January 2022 COD)