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School-Based Health Care and Educational Success of Children

Providing kids and teens with access to health care at school has a number of benefits. It can make it easier for them to learn, improve their overall health, and reduce the chances of them getting sick or having problems with drugs or alcohol.

There is a growing body of evidence that shows that students who are well cared for during their time at school perform better in class. This study aims to investigate this relationship.

School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs)

School-based health centers (SBHCs) are an essential link between the education and healthcare sectors. They improve student health and educational outcomes by enhancing access to primary care, preventive services, mental health counseling, and dental care.

They may also decrease absenteeism, disciplinary referrals, and immunization rates.

SBHCs can provide a wide range of services including medication administration, preventive care, mental health counseling, and emergency care during the school day. They can also work with schools to create de-escalation rooms and peer mediation programs.

Access to Care

Access to care is an important component of a healthy child and a strong academic experience. School-based health centers help children overcome barriers to care, such as transportation, time, costs and lack of continuity of care, that prevent them from receiving the medical services they need.

Having health care readily available in the school setting improves student attendance and overall school performance. It can also decrease the number of missed days from school due to illness or injury.

Preventive Care

The right preventive care at every stage of life can help you stay healthy, avoid or delay the onset of disease, and keep your health condition from getting worse.

School-based clinics can provide students with a variety of services, including well-child visits, sports physicals, sick visits, vaccinations, and mental health screenings. They can also spot and treat children with chronic health conditions in a more convenient setting than a physician's office.

The educational success of children depends on their health, and it is important to provide students with access to the right care. Schools can do this through partnerships with community agencies that offer child health insurance enrollment.

Mental Health

Mental health can have a large impact on a student's educational success. Early detection and intervention strategies can help prevent problems from developing in the first place.

Children with mental health challenges have similar needs to students who are healthy: they need support to feel valued, understood and appreciated for their strengths and talents. They also need to have opportunities to build positive relationships with their school staff and peers.

School-based services can improve educational outcomes, decrease suspensions and absenteeism and create a school climate where students feel safe asking for academic or socio-emotional help. However, they face many barriers to implementation and sustainability.

Dental Care

In addition to preventing tooth decay and other oral health conditions, ensuring a child has good dental care can improve their educational success. Children who had not seen a dentist for a year or more were four times more likely to have low grades than those who had seen a dentist recently.

This means that school-based dental programs are a crucial access point for preventive care. However, a study suggests that many logistical barriers hinder children from getting the preventive dental care they need.

Vision Care

Vision care is an important part of school-based health programs because learning depends on good vision. Vision problems can affect children's reading and writing skills, ability to learn, and performance on tests.

In fact, a recent study found that children in third through seventh grades who received eyeglasses through a school-based program had better reading scores than students who did not.

Despite this, many school-based vision programs lack resources or capacity to implement effective screening and follow-up programs. To address these challenges, school-based health programs need to coordinate with governmental and private organizations. Using these partnerships, they can create programs that improve the health of children and increase their educational success.

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