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The Importance of Health Education K-12 Health Education

The Importance of Health Education K-12 Health education is one of those subjects that make some people nervous and instantly ready for a debate no matter which side of the debate they are on. However, those people are often thinking about health education solely as drug prevention and sex education and that is not always accurate. Health education may include subjects such as the dangers of drugs and the use of birth control at certain grade levels but it also includes much more than that.

A well designed health education curriculum is important for children at all grade levels from kindergarten through 12th grade and is required to be taught by public schools in almost all of the states in the U.S. Preschool and Elementary School Health Education Often, studentsí first exposure to this subject matter is in preschool. Health education plays an important role in most preschools. Students are taught the importance of personal hygiene.

Teachers remind them to wash their hands after using the bathroom and before eating. Often, preschools have units on oral health and the importance of brushing oneís teeth. Most preschools teach children about dressing appropriately for weather conditions and help them with the fine motor skills necessary to undo a button, zip a coat and tie a shoe. Often, the preschool health education curriculum is continued into the early elementary school years. The elementary school years might also include safety information. For example, many children are taught to stop, drop and roll in case of fire. Some students are taught the importance of wearing bike helmets and the rules of the road. Other students are taught how to be safe and careful in large urban areas. Secondary School Health Education Health education at the high school level is often combined with the physical education curriculum. The content of the health education course varies from state to state and from school district to school district.

Some states and some school districts within those states have different curriculum on things such as drug and alcohol abuse and sex education. However, other important aspects of health are also included in the health and physical education curriculum. Students are taught the importance of exercising and of maintaining a healthy weight. Nutrition may also be emphasized in a health class. Students may be taught about the food pyramid and portion control as a way to staying healthy and fit.

Students are also taught how to protect themselves from illnesses and disease. For example, they may be taught to recognize the symptoms of depression. They may be taught how to protect themselves from the spread of disease. Is Health Education Mandatory if My Child Attends Public School? Some starts do provide parents with the right to opt out of health education classes that have to do with sexual education. Many of those states require the school district to notify parents prior to beginning any instruction related to sex education. Parents can then notify the school of their refusal to let their child participate in the sex education portion of the health curriculum. The student would still need to participate in all other areas of the health curriculum. Continuing Health Education Health education is one of those subjects that remains important throughout oneís life. It does not end with high school graduation. Recently, more and more employers and health insurance companies are recognizing the importance of continuing health education. They are offering employees and plan participants the opportunity to participate in continuing health education courses and providing written material on different health topics that can be studied at home.

Continuing health education often focuses both on preventive care and on the warning signs of health problems. The focus is more on medical issues than on safety and sex education issues as it was in grade school. Why is Health Education Important? Health education is about more than sex and drugs. It is about protecting oneís body and learning the skills necessary to stay healthy.

Ultimately, a healthy life is what most parents want for their children. As a society, it is what we collectively want so that the costs of health insurance and missed work days are minimized. For these reasons, health education is an important part of the K-12 curriculum.