Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, “is a state of full physical, emotional and social well being and not just the absence of sickness and infirmity.” Various definitions have over the years been used for the purpose of communication. However, one of them is very much applicable to kids and teens. This definition includes the ability of the body, mind and spirit to enjoy the world around them and to maintain their health and well being in any given situation.
Kids and teens need to understand how they are defining and managing their own health needs. Their life course and what they learn from it is an essential part of their learning development. There is no such thing as a child’s good or bad health. All health needs are equally good. The focus should be on managing the risk factors and this in turn lead to good nutrition and knowledge about disease prevention. This definition of public health is also called life course management.
Developing healthy relationships, maintaining self esteem, understanding depression and anxiety, developing resilience, improving self care and managing stress and managing illness are all aspects that define health. Children are exposed to a lot of stress, noise, and violence in their daily lives. These things can affect their health. It is important for kids to learn coping mechanisms for illness so they learn how to manage and deal with the situation in a positive way. When they get sick, it does not mean that they are not growing up. They are simply handling the illness in a different way than how adults do.
Managing disease is just as important for kids and teens as it is for their parents and grandparents. Managing disease means that the person is able to handle what is happening to them and prevent it from getting worse. Staying healthy and staying away from illness is easier said than done. The definition of healthy means eating the right foods, exercising regularly, taking vitamins and other nutritional supplements, preventing disease by limiting exposure to the harmful substances and staying physically active.
The most common problem that develops because of poor health status is poor nutrition. It is not always easy to spot the symptoms of an unhealthy lifestyle and people sometimes feel that they are fine until something starts to hurt. A lot of health services centers help to educate the public about nutrition and promote healthy eating. They also monitor the food intake of school kids and work on providing healthy and nutritional meals for the entire population. Teenagers usually have the same problems with their weight, eating disorders, and other behavioral issues that other kids have.
The problems faced by adolescents and children are determined by many social factors. These include family dynamics, peer group, gender, and genetics. Peer group is one of the determinants of health services for teens and children. If the members of a certain group have unhealthy behaviors, the individual behavior of that person will likely be reflected in his/her physical appearance and this can be hazardous for the population health.
One can use the continuum model of health as a tool to examine several issues that can lead to poor mental wellbeing. The continuum model consists of seven different groups. There is a group of mental health issues that relates to mood disorders such as bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, bipolar-affective disorder, psychosis, mania and syndromes, and schizophrenia. Another group addresses problems that relate to thinking and behavior. There are other categories that address issues in childhood and adolescence, such as learning disabilities, conduct disorder, and substance abuse.
Environmental factors are ones that are beyond the control of individuals. Examples include genetics, hormones, and the climate. Poor mental health can also be caused by an unhealthy neighborhood, poor educational conditions, abuse, violence, alcohol abuse, prescription drugs, tobacco use, and other environmental factors. In order to achieve good health, it is important to consider all the aspects and combine them in order to create a comprehensive plan.