Despite not currently working with children on a daily basis, I often encounter them while visiting the church on Sundays. As people want a healthier community, our church has incorporated physical activity classes into the Sunday school program and now teaches children about health as a whole, including mental and spiritual health. It also provides a great opportunity to talk with children about personal issues, which helps with identifying individuals who have adverse childhood experiences. The vacation Bible school further teaches children to maintain a healthy lifestyle, proper and balanced nutrition, and to stay physically active. Due to the influence the church has in our society, I think it is able to positively affect children’s well-being and could play a more prominent role in their health status.
I believe that the topic raised by Nadine Burke Harris has immense value in improving children’s well-being, especially the data on “how exposure to early adversity affects the developing brains and bodies of children” (“How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime”). The information about relations between changes in children’s brain and their experiences could help us to effectively identify children in dangerous situations and provide necessary help quicker than before.
With the ACE scoring system in place, it is now possible to influence children’s development, prevent many health issues and reduce the strain on our healthcare system. I think if more people knew what effects adverse childhood experiences have on their health and the health of their children, this problem would be less common. I truly hope that the presented material nowadays has much more people working on it, because of its immeasurable importance to the well-being of our children, and therefore, to our future in general.
From this week’s assigned reading I have learned much about daily health checks and would like to discuss this topic. This routine task is crucial for controlling and improving the health of an entire class but requires a delicate and thorough approach. While “health checks require only a minute or two”, they allow “teachers to detect early signs and symptoms of common illnesses and health impairments” (Marotz 42).
I personally believe that identifying and addressing problems of every child in a class is an equally important process and should not be overlooked. I would like to establish a balance between the time those health checks take from teachers and children’s parents, as their presence is often, if not always, required during this procedure, but they might be in a hurry. This factor should not affect the quality and thoroughness of the child’s examination.
It is also necessary to establish certain privacy for these checks to avoid any embarrassing moments and further ridicule from other children based on someone’s appearance. Furthermore, it is worth noting that these routine checks could in no way replace visits to the doctor. Teachers are to avoid sharing any information obtained during these checks with anyone other than the school’s medical personnel and the child’s parents.
Teachers also should not interpret any symptoms found through this procedure, as they are not qualified to establish the final diagnosis. These checks should only serve as a warning to parents about their children’s health. Finally, the question I would like to pose to the group is “What changes in daily routine checks could improve trust between teachers, children, and their parents?” Being a teacher requires a specific set of communication skills, and improving these skills could positively affect parent-teacher relationships.
“How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime.” TED, by Nadine B. Harris. 2015. Web.
Marotz, Lynn R. Health, Safety, and Nutrition for the Young Child. Cengage Learning, 2014.