Concepts of School Health Programs
School health programs have traditionally included health education, health services, and healthful school living. As a concept of school medicine has appeared, there has developed a specialized area of medical practice that is concerned with the identification, observation, and management of special health problems in the school setting. Increasing emphasis has been placed on identifying high-risk groups of children with potential learning problems, making proper referrals early, and developing a closer liaison between various medical, educational, and psychosocial personnel involved with the individual child's optimal performance in school.
The child's primary physician, the school physician or medical consultant, and the school nurse make up the basic school health team. In the ideal school health program, this team works collaboratively with parents, teachers, and other school and health personnel who may include dental professionals, psychologists, speech and hearing specialists, counselors, social workers, mental health specialists, health educators, and others.
The physician practicing school medicine must know the scientific basis and technique of various school health screening tests and examinations. He must know the general provisions of laws and regulations governing school health; functions and appropriate involvement of school personnel, such as the psychologist, guidance counselors, special teachers, and social workers; identification and appropriate management of school-related emotional and learning problems; and the identification and special needs of handicapped children in school. He must know standards for the school physical environment and develop effective administrative and record-keeping practices. He must understand desirable employee health practices and programs, organize emergency plans for the school, and recommend safe athletic practices and equipment.
- Copyright © 1975 by the American Academy of Pediatrics