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New CDC Resources for Managing Chronic Health Conditions in Schools

Original source: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/

Managing chronic health conditions can present daily challenges for US children and adolescents who spend many hours in school. Some conditions can present emergency situations and need immediate attention. Others can be managed properly with daily monitoring. Some conditions, like uncontrolled asthma, can lead to higher rates of school absenteeism, putting some students at risk for lower academic achievement.

CDC is addressing this public health issue with research and strategies to help students complete each day at school, safe and ready to learn. The CDC Healthy Schools website has new information on school health services that include acute and emergency care, care coordination, family engagement, and the management of chronic health conditions in schools. New resources have been added that focus on evidence-based strategies schools can use to manage students’ chronic health conditions and improve students’ academic achievement.

Additionally, CDC recently published research in the Journal of School Nursing on how direct access to school nursing and other health services improves the health and academic outcomes of students with chronic health conditions.

School health services is part of CDC’s Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model that promotes a collaborative approach to improving learning and health in our nation’s schools.

New CDC Healthy School Resources

School Health Services

  • Research Brief: How Schools Can Support Students with Chronic Health Conditions provides several strategies and activities schools and school districts can use to address the needs of students with chronic health conditions. It is based on a CDC systematic literature review on the role of school health services as well as guidelines and position statements from national organizations with a focus on school health.
  • Research Brief: Chronic Health Conditions and Academic Achievement describes the relationship between students’ chronic health conditions and their academic achievement, on the basis of a scientific literature review. It reports current knowledge about the associations between five chronic health conditions (seizure disorders/epilepsy, asthma, diabetes, poor oral health, and food allergies) and academic performance in areas such as cognitive skills, attendance, grades, and test scores.

Management of Chronic Health Conditions

  • Fact Sheet: Managing Chronic Conditions in Schools: The Role of the School Nurse explains the importance of the school nurse and gives three main roles school nurses often play in managing chronic health conditions.
  • Fact Sheet: Health Insurance for Children: How Schools Can Help provides schools with guidance on how to improve educational outcomes of students by connecting them to health insurance programs.

Take Action

  • States and districts can use these CDC resources to provide training and technical assistance to districts and schools on the importance of investing in a healthy school environment.
  • School administrators can assess their needs for high quality school health services. New CDC resources provide scientific evidence on how meeting this staff need is important for handling emergencies, managing chronic health conditions daily, and lowering student absenteeism due to illness.
  • School nurses can use these CDC resources to engage school administrators and school boards regarding the importance of school health services and its effect on student learning and outcomes. They also can connect with families of all students so that they are aware of services available at school and how they can benefit their children. School nurses can share information with parents and families on how to get health insurance and appropriate health services.
  • Public health and education partners can use these CDC resources to help increase awareness about the link between health and academic achievement, and the possible effect on longer-term outcomes into adulthood.
  • Parents and students can find out what health services are available at school and learn how school nurses can help manage a chronic health condition throughout the school day. Parents should work with the school nurse to establish their child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP), or an Individualized Health Plan (IHP), if appropriate.

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