Health Focus: Providing a Safe Environment for Children at School

This is National Public Health Week, and today’s theme is “Providing a Safe Environment for Children at School”.

Children participate in physical education. (Photo by F. Delventhal, CC BY 2.0)

Children participate in physical education. (Photo by F. Delventhal, CC BY 2.0)

The American Public Health Association (APHA) says, “Research has found that students’ health affects their grades, attendance, behavior and whether they graduate .. and education is once of the many social determinants that influence a person’s health throughout the life span.”

Statistics provided by the Association show that obesity among children and teens has nearly tripled since 1980, and that fewer than one-third of high school students nationwide attend a daily physical education class.

In addition, studies show that more than 16 million children in the U.S. lack access to an adequate supply of nutritious food, and 4,000 young people a day try their first cigarette.

The APHA encourages adults to advocate for smoke- and tobacco-free policies at schools, to encourage schools to stop providing sodas and junk foods, and to speak up about the importance of physical education in school.

More information is available at http://www.schoolbasedhealthcare.org. National Public Health Week continues through April 7.

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