Developing a Health Literacy Program
To maintain community health, all members of society including children need to be taught on skills that enhance personal health as a prevention measure to keep the community free from avoidable infections. The teaching of health literacy skills should begin from the age of three. Health literacy skills are a part of the integrated process of caring for and training children, adolescents and young adults. CDC 2011 underscores the significance of teaching functional health skills that, when adopted, practiced, and maintained, will promote healthy behavior among children. These skills are needed by children to graduate when they are proficient in health literary skills. Based on this significance, this paper develops a health literacy program that will train groups of children aged between 3-7, 9-12 and 14-18 on how to care for their bodies, have positive attitude, and develop good behavior that influences their health.
Health Literacy Programs
Hand washing; this program is meant to teach children from the age of 3 years to wash hands before and after eating, and after each time they visit toilets. The washing should be done under running water by using detergent soaps that have the ability to remove all germs. This program is very important since children are at the stage of playing and most infections are caused by germs picked by hands that are not thoroughly cleaned. According to the study carried out by CDC in 2003, sanitation and hygiene, particularly hand-washing, help to prevent pneumonia and diarrhea, which are the leading causes of children mortality worldwide.
Dental hygiene; a slogan ‘clean teeth, healthy life’ is a program aimed to enhance development of the habit of brushing teeth after every meal in order to avoid dental problems, such as corrosion, coloring of teeth and pain, caused by germs logged between the teeth. This is to keep teeth healthy and strong. In this program, children will learn how to be responsible for keeping their body clean to meet the National Health Education Standards.
Healthy eating; this program is designed to help children, especially the high school and college group aged 14-18, to avoid eating junk and highly concentrated sugary food that causes health complications like obesity, which is a major problem for children. Eating junk food is a common occurrence in most families living in low-income urban areas. As a community health nurse, I have noted in my area of operation that many children become obese and develop other diseases like diabetes at an early age as a result of unhealthy eating. Therefore, educating children on healthy eating will make them think of their body and health. This program is also relevant for parents with young children between 3-10 years who are to ensure that their children are healthy fed. Many children do not like being overweight as they fear to be teased by their peers
The Importance of Health Literacy among Children
Information on health literacy helps children to prevent diseases, stay healthy, and facilitate their development. Thus, health literacy program should be promoted. Before designing this program, I would first try to understand the trend and the history of disease infection within the community through studying past medical records to identify the missing health literacy skill that is a possible cause of children infection in the community. At the beginning of the assessment, the program developer will take statistics of the number of visits made and then unite with the community leaders and schools to implement the program of sanitation and hygiene. At the end of the program, the developer will give recommendations for the further implementation of the program.
The paper outlined the importance of health literacy among children. The education program majorly focuses on sanitation and hygiene, especially hand washing, dental care and healthy eating, to facilitate development and healthy living among children aged between 3-18 years.