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Implementation of State Policy for Protection of Children’s Health in Ukrainian schools

Georgii Danylenko, Tatiana Merkulova, Natalia Romanova

Abstract

Introduction: The health of children is a prime indicator of achieving the social objectives of the state. The school reflects the policy of the state in society. At the same time, the health of school-age children is seen as the ability to fulfil effectively social functions taught by the school.

Materials and Methods: The research is based on the results of an anonymous survey of 1399 schoolchildren in grades 9-11 in a large megalopolis, a small town and a village. The questionnaire included questions about the characteristics of the lifestyle and educational activity, bad habits, and subjective assessment of their health.

Results: The 54% of children in the megalopolis, 52% in the small town and 64% in rural areas consider themselves healthy. They were mostly boys, the gender difference is more pronounced in urban areas. The harmful habits prevalence depends on the place of residence. The percentage of schoolchildren, mostly boys, having their first experience of smoking at 7-9 years old is 14%. About 4% of high school students admit that they have already formed a habit to drink alcohol. Smoking, drinking and drugs are more pronounced in urban areas, the use of wine - in the villages. In a large city school the physical activity level was also higher. The greatest number of students (29.3%) who go to school with pleasure is in the small town, the lowest number (17.8%) is in the village.

Conclusions: School as the implementer of health-preserving behavior is less successful in the village. Despite the high prevalence of harmful habits among schoolchildren, the strategies of countering this are more diverse and effective in a large metropolis.


Keywords

school-age children’s health, lifestyle, harmful habits, health-preserving behaviors


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