Why Schools Need To Step Up For Student's Health


Why Schools Need To Step Up For Student's Health

In 2016, over 41 million children under the age of five globally were estimated to be overweight. Today 1 in 5 children are overweight.

Not only do these children suffer social stigma but their poor sense of self also hampers their growth and cognition and often results in low immunity levels and indifference towards health leading to frequent absenteeism from school. Children today are experiencing tremendous stress from social media resulting in them taking risky measures to attain the media propagated ideal body image. This combined with intense academic pressure influenced by constant comparisons; they are willing to stop eating to lose weight and even willing to experiment with drugs. Children's bodies do not express physical or mental health signs for a long time and so these often escape being noticed at home. Nor is it feasible for parents to provide scientific health education and intervention required at regular intervals. This calls for the schools to create a healthy ecosystem to help children learn about positive body image and be comfortable with their unique identities.

Today over 100 schools around the country have chosen to utilise professional services for school healthcare based on the parameters of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics and World Health Organization Growth Charts. Integrated into the school curriculum, the school is provided a monthly calendar for educating each child on topics such as hygiene, nutrition, stress, vision etc. through educational videos and hands-on activities. As part of the programme, a carefully selected team of Specialist Doctors visit the school to test the child's Physical, Dental, Eye and Growth Parameters. Parents receive reports online and can get a second opinion through the school from the panel of doctors familiar with the child's health history.

According to Prasan Jain, Director of Pathways Group of Schools, “who has joined hands with a professional school health system provider, “This is an indication of the prominence we give to children's health and it will help us to uphold our commitment to international standards at our school.”

Professionalism in this area has today attained high standards of child health care. Built over many years of experience, a comprehensive school health system can make available a special App for the school nurse to access reports of all students as well as log the clinic visits of each child throughout the year. In case of an emergency, all important contact numbers can be stored and the nearest ambulance can be called. Services such as psychometric tests for school staff are also offered. Accident insurance for each child for a sum of Rs.1 Lakh (~USD 1500) is another special benefit available through the school health programme. Through such essential services every school can ensure a hassle free, health promoting ecosystem year round and healthy, happy children and parents.

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About the Author
Author: Priya Prakash
Priya Prakash is a healthcare entrepreneur and the Founder and CEO of HealthSetGo. HealthSetGo is India's largest healthcare organisation for school with the vision to establish India'a largest network of health promoting schools. HealthSetGo currently operates in over 77+ cities across India with 2,00,000+ students with it’s flagship program CARE which monitors the healthy growth of students at School and generates Intelligent insights for Parents to empower them to take care of their child’s health as well as impart the right Health Education customised to the age of the child. Additionally, she is a Global Shaper with The World Economic Forum, taking up many socially impactful projects for rural India. Priya is a Tedx Speaker, Crossfit L1 Trainer , and an avid health blogger with a passion for Olympic Weightlifting. She was featured in the National Issue Of India Today, January 2017, amongst 21 Men and Women nationwide in the article 'Doing Good In A World Gone Bad’.

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