Free Essay

Teaching Children About Health

In: Social Issues

Submitted By Chiraag
Words 4171
Pages 17
1] Discuss the role the educator has to play with regard to child abuse.

The role of the teacher
»The teacher has an important role to play with regard to child abuse.

»Identification of the abused child.
The teacher must be able to recognise all the physical and behavioural symptoms that indicate abuse.

»Identification of the abusive adult.
The teacher should be on the lookout for behavioural characteristics in a parent that could indicate that their child is at risk of abuse.

»The teacher should keep written records of all observations about suspected or actual abuse.

Reporting of Child Abuse

»Record the child's version of the event, in their own words, as soon as possible.

»The first report is important evidence. This is the statement of the person to whom the child first reported the abuse. The teacher should make a written note so that it can be accurately recalled in legal proceedings.

»The teacher should report suspicions to the principal and social worker, doctor, nurse, police so proper investigation can be done.

»The teacher should never confront parents themselves, this could:
•anger the parents
•destroy the teacher-parent relationship
•increase the abuse

»Several critical things the teacher should provide so they develop a sense of wellbeing to progress beyond abuse.
•Trust
•Predictable routines
•Consistent behaviour
•Safe boundaries
•Confidence
•Good communication

2] According to Reddy and Tobias (1994:20), the term "Health Education" and "Health Promotion" are confused with one another. Provide a clear distinction between these 2 terms.

Health Education is the "deliberate structuring of planned learning opportunities about health which are aimed at voluntary changes in health-related behaviours to give individuals the opportunity of achieving a more favourable position on the health continuum."

Health Education includes:
•Being motivated to adopt health-promoting behaviours.
•Helping individuals make and implement informed health decisions.
•Changing behaviour voluntarily to improve health.

Health Promotion on the other hand, takes a broader approach and involves more than just Health Education. Health Promotion is:

"Any combination of health education with related organisational, political and economic interventions designed to facilitate behavioural and environmental adaptations that will improve or protect health in individuals, groups or communities."

3] Discuss the role of the teacher in dealing with chronic illness in children.

•It is important for the teacher to know as much as possible about the particular chronic disease and demands it will make on the child and his/her family so that they can provide sympathetic support to the learner and their family.

•The teacher should be supportive to both the child and parents with regard to the learners need for medication during school hours, extra rest periods, specific toileting needs, absences from school, extra help with schoolwork, embarrassment about physical appearance etc.

•The teacher should maintain the confidentiality of any information give to him/her regarding the child's condition-written parental permission is required to divulge any information to other staff.

•The teacher should determine from the parents the learners own understanding and knowledge of his/her illness and it is NOT the responsibility of the teacher to inform the child of this.

•The teacher should modify the school program so that, for eg., longer rest periods or dietary adaptations are made possible if required. Likewise the teacher should liaise with parents on any specific precautions required for school outings so that the learner can participate.

•The teacher must ensure that the school and classroom environment makes allowances for the child's disease. For eg. Wheel-chair bound learners should have easy access to the classroom and classroom activities and the level of allergens should be eliminated if there are asthmatic or allergic learners.

•The teacher should be aware of any effects of medication on behaviour, eg. Drowsiness, nausea, dizziness.

•The teacher should be able to cope with any specific health emergencies related to a chronic illness like an asthmatic attack or hypoglycaemia.

•Children with chronic diseases should be treated the same as healthy children. The way in which the teacher deals with the child will go a long way in determining the child's attitude to their illness and his/her self-image.

4] A local counsellor invited you as a health educator to deliver a speech on HIV prevention at a Community Health Awareness Day. What are the key messages about HIV prevention you will incorporate?

1) Have safer sex
•To prevent HIV, we must adopt safer sexual practices.
•Abstain from sex until marriage and then stay faithful to your partner.
•If you have sex, assume that you and your partner have HIV and use a condom.
•Have one sexual partner and practice safe sex.
•Before trying to conceive, both partners should be tested for HIV and get the results before stopping use of a condom.

2)Love and Trust
•The man/woman who loves you, takes precautions to ensure that you won't catch HIV from him/her by wearing a condom.
•Trusting a partner is not enough to protect you from HIV, your partner, or you may have become infected during a previous relationship.

3)You don't have to have lots of boyfriends/girlfriends to get HIV.
•People who have many sexual partners are more likely to get HIV, but HIV doesn't only affect people with many partners.
•If only one partner was infected and didn't use condoms, we could get HIV.
•Many people have got HIV after having sex just once with a HIV infected person who didn't use a condom.

6)Using a condom will also protect you from STDs, infertility and unwanted pregnancy.
•Untreated STDs increase your chance of getting HIV. Don't have sex until you treat the STD.
•Condoms protect you against other STDs aswell as HIV.
•STDs are the most common cause of infertility.
•By using a condom, you can avoid HIV and STDs and you can decide if you want to conceive.

7)Drugs and Alcohol
•Drugs and Alcohol are also linked to HIV.
•Drunk/Drugged people forget to use condoms.
•Men can take advantage of a drunk woman for sex, with or without a condom.
•Some addictive drugs like heroin are taken by injection. Many people have got HIV from sharing injection needles.

5] Briefly indicate the criteria that you would use to determine if the health, safety and nutrition curriculum is appropriate for the learners in a particular grade or phase.

1. Is the activity appropriate for the age, culture and developmental level of the learner?

2. Does it provide for a holistic approach?

3. Does it provide an opportunity for learners to make choices?

4. Does it promote positive choices?

5. Is it flexible?

6. Are learners able to explore and interact? (Is it action-orientated?)

7. Is there a variety of different activities?

8. Is a variety of different presentation methods used?

9. Does the learning experience impart knowledge and health related skills and attitudes?

10. Does it teach through 2 or more senses?

11. Is it economical in terms of time and cost?

12. Is the information presented in an unbiased manner?

6] Discuss what is meant by:
-a healthy lifestyle
-health education

A healthy lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle consists of choices, actions, habits and patterns that are within our control and that increase or decrease our risk of illness or disease. For eg. If we live a "partying" lifestyle, our behaviours are likely to include alcohol and drug use. If we live a "workaholic" lifestyle, our behaviours may include stress and non restful periods. If we lead a "physically fit" lifestyle, we are participating in one of the components of wellness. Our lifestyle and behaviours that constitute it, can make an important contribution to wellbeing and activity.

Health Education
Health Education is the deliberate structuring of planned learning opportunities about health which are aimed at voluntary changes in health-related behaviours to give individuals the opportunity of achieving a more favourable position on the health continuum.

Health Education includes:
•Being motivated to adopt health-promoting behaviours.
•Helping individuals make and implement informed health decisions.
•Changing behaviour voluntarily to improve health.

7] Parents are regarded as the most important stakeholders in the school system. What role do you think parents can play in the health education of their children?

•Ask parents to share their stories, feelings and personal health issues.

•Establish a school parent centre which can supply resources and serve as a meeting place for staff and parents.

•Encourage school and community interaction through activities, such as displays in shopping areas, in which parents, learners and teachers are involved.

•Create and disseminate a booklet of tips and guidelines for parents.

•Arrange weekend or evening information sessions so that parents know how to become involved in the school.

•Arrange for 2 to 3 parent-teacher contact sessions throughout the year.

•Publish a monthly parent newsletter.

•Suggest that learners each have a parent-teacher notebook for communication purposes.

8] Discuss the following statement: "Physical Activity can reduce the risk of some chronic diseases."

Sedentary and unfit people have a higher risk of certain diseases, including cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, high blood pressure and colon cancer. People who live physically fit lifestyles have lower blood pressure, better blood cholesterol levels, better use of glucose by cells as fuel, less depression, better cognitive functioning, and a more effective immune system.

Several studies have indicated that sedentary adults have a higher risk of stroke and coronary heart disease. Physical activity reduces the rate at which fatty plaque is deposited inside vessels.

Sedentary people have a 20 to 50% greater risk of getting hypertension. Regular low to moderate large muscle movement is effective in lowering blood pressure in children and physical activity is recommended as an effective therapeutic treatment for hypertension.

Increased activity has a positive effect on blood lipid in obese and unfit children and in diabetic adolescents.

Physical Activity is also effective in preventing site specific cancer, especially colon cancer. Physical activity reduces the time fecal matter stays and has contact with the large intestine, decreasing the large intestines absorption of carcinogens. Physical activity also increases the number of natural killer T cells which provide a first line defense against cancer cells.

Physical Activity also has the following benefits:
•reduces anxiety
•reduces depression
•decreases stress
•has a beneficial emotional effect
•improves self-concept and self-image.

9] Describe the effects of hospitalisation on the young child.

Hospitalisation can be a very traumatic experience for a young child. Children under the age of 5 are particularly susceptible to the stressors of hospitalisation because of their developmental level and age. Because very young children are more prone to illness, they are more likely to require hospitalisation at the time they are least able to cope.

According to Woolf, illness is a universal cause of childhood stress which threatens a child's emotional stability because of the unfamiliar experiences and people to which the child is subjected to.

Illness, regardless of the length of hospital stay, causes anxiety because the child is forcibly separated from family and friends. Factors such as being subject to pain, intrusive procedures, side effects of medication all contribute to stress.

New intellectual, physical and emotional abilities like speech, locomotion, symbolic thought and autonomy are disrupted when the child is stressed.

The following factors affect the child's experiences of hospitalisation:

•Age- Negative effects are greatest for children between 7 months and 4 years old.

•Child's perception of illness, medical procedures and hospital- only when the child enters the concrete-operational thought stage, can they understand the relationship between symptoms and treatment.

•Fear of pain and death- pain is a common stressor because of the unpleasant sensations it causes.

•Bodily intrusion and mutilation- any intrusion into the body space of children, threatens their self-esteem and self-integrity.

•Separation from parents and family- children are angry at their family for deserting them in a strange environment.

10] Describe how you would deal with the following emergencies:
- a learner who is choking
- a learner with a nosebleed
- a learner with an asthmatic attack

A learner who is choking:
»First determine if the learner really is choking.
»A universal sign of choking is clutching the throat with one or both hands.
»Ask the learner "Are you choking?" "Can you speak?" If the learner doesn't respond or is coughing, EMS should be activated and action taken.
»The heimleich manoeuvre can be performed to dislodge a foreign object from the airways.
»To perform the heimleich manoeuvre, stand behind the person who is choking and put your arms around his/her waist.
»Place the thumb side of one fist on the abdomen ( 1 inch above navel)
»Cover fist with other hand.
»With quick inward and upward motions, press against the abdomen.
»Ensure that your hands are in the middle of abdomen.
»No contact should be made with breast bone or ribs.
»To be effective, thrusts must be performed on soft tissue.
»Continue thrusts until something is expelled from persons mouth or they become unconscious.

A learner with a nosebleed

»Have the learner sit down to reduce blood pressure.
»Have the learner lean forward.
»Apply direct pressure on the nostrils as if pinching the nostrils shut with the thumb and forefinger.
»Absorb blood with clean tissue and cloth.
»Pressure should be maintained for about 5 minutes.
»Releasing pressure too soon, will delay the clotting process and increase the time needed to stop the bleeding.
»Reassure the learner and remind them to breath through their mouth.
»Medical assistance should be sought if the nose continues to bleed after 5 minutes.

A learner with an asthmatic attack

»Most asthmatic learners carry medicines to relax bronchial spasms.
»Reassure the learner and help them locate the medicines.
»Move the learner to an irritant-free environment- free of dust, pet hair, chalk dust, pollen, etc.
»Have the learner sit in a reclining position.
»Offer the learner water if possible.
»Medical assistance should be sought if learner doesn't respond to medication, if skin is still blue, or if heartbeat exceeds 120 beats per minute.
»Medical assistance should be sought if a precipitating event such as a bug bite, caused the attack.

12] Discuss common sources of stress in either the foundation phase or intermediate and senior phase and explain how you can help learners deal with stress.

What is stress?
Stress is the body’s reaction to change. When the body is under stress it is affected by various stimuli, also called stressors, which will cause changes in the body. The body’s response to stress is called homeostasis; this is a vital function of our body where it will strive to maintain a normal or balanced state. There are two types of stress – good stress (eustress) and bad stress (distress). Eustress can motivate children to reach their goals, where distress can cause physical or psychological breakdown (Weinstein and Rosen 2003: 272). Everybody experience stress, even children. I am going to discuss common sources of stress (stressors) in intermediate phase learners. Then I will look into how an educator can assist learners to cope with these various sources of stress.

Common sources of stress in intermediate phase learners
Intermediate phase include grades 4-6, in other words children of ages 10 to 12. During a child’s development they are confronted with challenges and demands. These can be external (for instance the environment) or internal (changes in the body as they grow). I am going to discuss sources of stress in three different categories.

Stress of growing up
Weinstein and Rosen (2003: 276) identified stressors children may experience while growing up and they are: Meeting personal goals – parents or teachers can set goals or tasks that are too difficult. In a child’s attempt to reach this they can be unsuccessful which will cause stress. Every so often children set unrealistic goals for themselves as they compete with friends. It is important to set realistic and attainable personal goals because if they are too low, children can become unmotivated and they would not realise their potential.

Self-esteem – is affected and developed by surroundings, parents, friends, success, failure, family values, attitudes and personal experiences. A positive self-image will result in the development of good skills to effectively cope with and respond to stress.

Changing values – it is important that parents and teachers make sure children understand the value system imposed on them. If not this can lead to confusion and conflict because children will believe that the things they value, are not important for the adults in their lives.

Social standards – expectations and standards change during development. This can be present in peer groups and school setting changes. Children become confused when they are acceptable at one time and not at another.

Ability and personal competence – when children have low confidence in their abilities it can have a major influence on their morale and create problems in school.

Competition with others – children want to be liked and accepted by their peers. If not it can induce stress.

Home and family stress
Weinstein and Rosen (2003: 277) recognises marital discord, low social status, overcrowding or large families, paternal criminality, parental psychiatric disorder and admission of children into the care of local authorities as factors that strongly associates with stress. Other factors that fall under this category include parents: who are ill, have emotional problems, or experience marital tension. These parents tend to be less responsive, less nurturing, less affectionate, and more punitive with their children. Introduction of a new parental figure is particularly stressful for school aged children. Other childhood stressors include accidents, injuries, or hospitalisation of a family member, family relocation, separation from parents, and the addition of a sibling. This list can go on and on. It is very clear from this paragraph that home and family factors can have a great influence on a child’s stress levels.

Stress in school
Weinstein and Rosen (2003: 278-279) discussed the major school stressors and placed them into the following categories:

School adjustment – the physical environment of the school, the classroom, and even the cafeteria can contribute to a child’s stress. It is important that children perceive the school as a safe place.

The learning process – children learn in different ways and motivation to develop learning skills is also not the same. Teachers should recognise this and cater for each and every learner.

Competition – this can produce a sense of success and fulfilment or of anxiety and feelings of failure.

Subject stress – it is proven that performance declines as stress increases. So teachers can assist to reduce anxiety about a subject which in turn can help raise performance.

Test anxiety – verbal tests produce greater anxiety than written tests. Educators can reduce test anxiety by giving practice tests, which will not count but prepare them.

Parent involvement – reporting back to your parent can be stressful. Teachers can alleviate this by keeping parents involved parent-teacher evenings.

Stressors in school can also be classified by grade level. Weinstein and Rosen (2003: 279) identified sources of stressors by grade level. They are listed in order of intensity in the table below: Stressors by grade level

Fourth grade: Fear of being chosen last, peer disapproval of clothing or appearance, friends not choosing them to share secrets, student ridicule, not being liked by teacher.

Fifth grade: Fear of being chosen last, losing a best friend, not being able to complete work, peer disapproval, not being a sixth grader next year.

Sixth grade: Fear of being chosen last, sexuality, not going to junior high, peer disapproval of appearance, being unpopular.

Ways in which an educator can assist children to cope with stress.
In the previous section,common sources of stress, I have briefly discussed what teachers can do to assist learners in coping with subject stress, test anxiety and parent involvement. I will now elaborate on methods teachers can use to assist learners. When we look at the physical environment teachers can supervise activities, stop violence, avoid crowded classrooms, create organised environment and effectively administer the curriculum. This will definitely reduce stress and facilitate learning. With the focus on the fact that children learn in different ways, the teacher can make sure they have appropriate books, supplies and resources to meet different needs.

Socialization, individual attention and self-esteem are also sources of stress. The teacher can reduce this by giving positive feedback, which will result in children feeling good about themselves. Competition can be reduced when children are required to work together in groups towards a shared goal.

An important step in reducing stress and preventing stress disorders is to help children allocate time for relaxation. Weinstein and Rosen (2003: 280-283) discussed various techniques that can be used to foster relaxation.

Laughter and fun – everybody knows that having fun and laughter will help you to temporarily forget and make you feel better. Teachers can create breaks during the day for fun and laughter.

Altering perception – a cause of stress can be the way one thinks, especially children. Teachers can help them to expand their thinking and alternatives, replace negative thoughts with positive ones, and get children more involved. This will broaden their perceptions and increase their feelings of control.

Revising attitudes – teachers can help children to build positive self-esteems, confidence and express their needs. Communication is also very important so that they can talk about their feelings.

Nutrition – it is essential to maintain a well-balanced diet. For the reason that poor nutrition and certain chemicals in food (like caffeine) have a direct influence on stress. As a teacher you can monitor foods eaten during lunch time by putting up a “snack menu” in class. You can provide parents with a copy and explain to them the influence food can have on their children, so that they can prepare the right lunchbox.

Activities – Teachers can create activities for children to help them relax. Physical activity like sport must be encouraged because it can get rid of excess energy and are excellent for stress relive. Meditation where children close their eyes for a couple of minutes, will force relaxation and help them to focus. Deep breathing can be used in conjunction with meditation or on its own where the whole class can take a few deep breaths together, this will result in decreased pulse rate and anxiety, which in turn will reduce stress. Being familiar with what a specific child’s stressors at home can help the teacher to be a role model for that child to trust and share their concerns with. Teachers have a very important role in children’s lives. It is clear that intermediate phase learners’ can have many confrontations and challenges.
We need to recognise and be aware of sources of stress in the classroom as well as at home or family stress. Teachers can definitely help children to cope with stress.

13] Briefly explain what information you would include when planning 2 learning activities for foundation phase or intermediate and senior phase. Pleas indicate the grade.
- safety at home
- nutrition
- physical fitness

Safety at home.

Activity 1- identifying poisonous substances in the home
•describe how some poisons affect the body. For eg. Some poisons make people sick, or burn the throat if swallowed.
•explain why medicines and cleaners are kept in a safe place away from easy access.
•explain the safety reason for each rule.

Activity 2- preventing injuries in the home
•why children should pick up toys so no one trips over or gets hurt.
•the dangers of using kitchen appliances and tools without first asking permission.
•dangers of playing with older siblings or others things without first asking permission.
•dangers of playing with or touching guns, knives and other weapons.
•why it is important to stay away from locked of designated off limits.

Nutrition
Activity 1- healthy foods
•food should be eaten in moderation and food at the tip of the pyramid should be eaten sparingly.
•protein should be eaten daily.
•eat foods from all levels of the pyramid everyday to be healthy.
•what are healthy school lunches: tuna and chicken salad with grated vegetables, raisins and apples. Sandwiches with sprouts, tomatoes and shredded carrots.

Activity 2- nutrients
•the human body needs energy to perform its voluntary and involuntary activities
•the energy is provided by nutrients in the food we eat.
•only fats, carbs and protein give energy to the body
•minerals and vitamins are used for other body functions.
•water is the most important nutrient.
•nutrients that the body can synthesise itself is non essential nutrients
•essential nutrients must come from the food we eat.
•if the body does not get essential nutrients, it can become deficient and we can become sick.

Physical Fitness
Activity 1-multiple benefits of physical activity
•make learning a physically active process by incorporating factual info about the benefits of physical fitness and allowing physical movement.
•connection between physical activity, increased health, decreased depression and increased self esteem.
•how physical activity reduces risks of certain chronic illnesses.

Activity 2 - Physical Activity and its effect on how I feel
•how regular exercise enhances cognitive functioning in children.
•increased self esteem
•why learners feel good about themselves after exercising.

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