Health education is required for most middle and high school students in the United States. While schools typically cover general wellness topics like nutrition and physical activity, required content varies by state and district. With such a variety of topics to cover, students may be missing out on content that parents think are important to their health education.
In our latest NPCH Report, we asked parents of children in middle or high school about their preferences for health education in school. Most parents say schools should, and do, teach wellness, drug/alcohol abuse, and sex education. Two-thirds of parents say schools definitely should cover emotional/mental health, yet only one-third say it is currently covered. Over 60% of parents want students to learn basic first aid and CPR. Read the full report – Beyond sex ed: Parents want more health topics covered in school
Despite the large proportion of parents who endorse expanding health education topics, many schools may not be able to accommodate due to barriers such as core academic requirements and limited financial resources. Schools may use other strategies to cover these expanded topics by recruiting local health care professionals to offer occasional sessions on first aid or CPR.