A child’s health has direct impacts on his or her school performance. Acute illnesses, chronic conditions, and mental health issues could all lead to a drop in grades. School personnel can assist students with health and wellness needs during the school day by following these four helpful tips.
Offering Preventive and Wellness Services
Schools could arrange for preventive and wellness services to take place during the school day. For example, vision and hearing testing could be performed in order to assess each child’s vision. Dental sealants or flu vaccinations could be provided to students who do not have access to these services through private health insurance. Schools could also offer health classes to students.
Visiting the School Nurse
The school nurse attends to all sorts of issues that happen during the school day, such as scraped knees on the playground or lost baby teeth. The school nurse is also responsible for helping children who need medication during the school day. Visiting the school nurse is also helpful when a child feels unwell or is facing a health or well-being problem at home.
Monitoring a Child’s Nutrition and Clothing
For some children, the only meal they eat is school lunch. Schools could work harder to implement a free school breakfast program too. Some schools are able to partner with local community organizations in order to send a student home with a backpack of food for the weekend. Schools could also offer a clothing pantry for children in need of proper attire, especially for winter weather.
Offering Counseling Services
Children may face adult situations at home and carry this baggage with them to school. While counselors might have to spend a lot of time focusing on individual education plans, testing, and other educational issues, school personnel should also be available to talk with children about emotional issues that affect their performance and demeanor at school. Administrators might even wish to have a counselor to focus on emotional counseling and have a separate person to focus on the other needs.
School personnel could also help students and families connect with community resources that are related to health and wellness. It is also important for the student’s and family’s privacy and confidentiality to be maintained when such resources are provided. By caring for a student’s health needs, a school makes it easier for the child to learn. A child has a better chance at success in life when his or her needs are met.