In the UK, there are several issues with health and the healthcare for students in all levels of school and education, but this article focuses primarily on current health and healthcare issues in elementary school level institutions.
When students get sick or do not feel well, there are no nurses on site to help diagnose students. In addition, students with allergies who are exposed to allergens may have reactions, some allergies may even be life-threatening. With that said, schools are considering leveraging technology like to avoid the cost of having a nurse on site
One big topic that is on many government agencies’, educational institutions’ and parents’ minds is the topic of mental health and how to help and handle mental health and students’ mental health in schools. Mental health is not taken lightly and is an important issue. Symptoms of some mental health issues are not always noticeable, so schools are working on finding ways to support the mental health and wellbeing of all pupils professionally. Professionals are being brought in to help support and manage mental health and deal with issues or red flags that come up or arise.
Hygiene is another health-related issue within elementary schools. It is essential that students, especially young ones who are not used to being away from their parents for long periods of time, to promote good hygiene and healthy habits. Teaching good hygiene habits is important and having staff, teachers and other vital figures be leaders by examples.
Healthy eating is another hot topic in education. Offering healthier alternatives in cafeterias, vending machines and other food offerings has become a relatively recent trend. This promotes healthy eating, snacking and habits from a young age. Promoting healthy eating at home without overstepping is also something schools are exploring as they teach children, as part of the curriculum, about healthy foods, choices and options. Fitness and exposure to physical activity in gym class, at recess and in other classrooms is another way that schools promote healthy lifestyles for students. Outside this box, some schools have introduced health programs like replacing chairs with balls, offering sports teams and other fitness incentives.
Training for teachers to recognize any or all of the above issues is an integral part of implementing sustainable healthcare in schools. Teachers and staff are requiring more and more training to recognize signs of mental illness, poor hygiene, obesity, and other unhealthy habits. In addition, training is important to recognize the root causes of these issues such as neglect or other, deeper rooted problems. Providing teachers and staff with resources and access to resources to help them deal with these issues and to inform parents, students and others about these resources.