School Health

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Abstinence Only Education Information
Teen birth rate has been declining slowly but steadily in Florida. The Miami-Dade County School Health Program promotes and supports Abstinence Only Education for pre-teens and teens in Miami Dade County Public Schools, Charter Schools and other community agencies. We also support and encourage parental involvement. For more information about abstinence visit www.greattowait.com or www.teenpregnancy.org

Head Lice
Head lice have accompanied humans for thousands of years. They are insects that spend their entire lifecycle on the human scalp, clinging to the hair while feeding, mating and laying eggs. Head Lice don't jump or fly they are transmitted from person to person by direct contact or by sharing objects such as combs or brushes, towels, headphones, hats, etc. It has nothing to do with cleanliness any one can get head lice. Parent can help prevent the spread of head lice by checking their child's head for lice on a weekly basis as part of his/her regular personal hygiene routine, notifying the school if their child has head lice and by discouraging children from sharing their personal items. For further information, see the attached "A Guide for the Prevention and Treatment of Head Lice."

For further assistance, contact:
  1. Miami-Dade County Health Department, School Health Program: 786-845-0222
  2. Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Comprehensive School Health Services 305-995-1235
  3. National Pediculosis Association, www.headlice.org (English/Spanish)
  4. Center for Disease Control (CDC) www.cdc.gov (English/Spanish)
  5. Guide for the Prevention Treatment of Lice
Obesity
Obesity is an ever-increasing health issue affecting children and adolescents across the nation. The latest data from the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) indicates an estimated 17 percent of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are overweight. The health consequences associated with childhood obesity include decreased release of growth hormone, hyperinsulinemia, carbohydrate intolerance, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Childhood obesity has also been shown to have psychosocial consequences, such as negative self-image, decreased self-esteem, eating disorders, and lower health-related quality of life.

The Healthy School Initiative was mandated in 2001 by the Secretary of the Department of Health in counties receiving full service school funding. It was designed to increase the awareness of students and their families about the risks of childhood obesity, physical activity involvement, and nutrition improvement. Children attending Full Service and Comprehensive schools were screened for height and weight with body mass index (BMI) measurements in grades kindergarten, first, third, sixth, and ninth. Additionally, a minimum of three activities geared towards nutrition and physical activity were conducted. This was done in conjunction with statewide activities designed to promote awareness of this health concern and increase involvement in healthy lifestyles. At this time, Miami Dade County Public Schools are now obligated to adhere to a local school district wellness policy.

Useful Links:
http://nutrition.dadeschools.net/documents/wellness.pdf
http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/


Disaster Preparedness
In the school setting being prepared for disaster is a necessary and vital part of School Health. Whether man made or natural, disasters can impact schools and their population and preparedness is essential. Because of their professional education and continual training, the school nurse and social worker have become experts in assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating the needs of children. Therefore, they would be the health experts in helping to develop a disaster plan in the schools, especially for children with special needs.

Useful Link:
Resources from the National Association of School Nurses



Violence in Schools

Violence in schools is becoming an increasing concern in the United States. Types of violence include bullying, gang activity, physical and verbal fights and substance abuse. The MDCHD School Health Program plays an important role in violence prevention by providing education, counseling and consultation services to students, parents and school staff. Activities include teaching conflict resolution skills, providing information on drug and alcohol abuse, handling peer pressure and promoting emotional well-being.

The following links provide useful information:
safeyouth.org/scripts/index.asp
kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/school_violence.html
http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/yvprevention.htm
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