The Link Between School Attendance and Good Health
Published online today, January 30, 2019, and in the February 2019 issue of Pediatrics, " The Link Between School Attendance and Good Health" recommends that health care providers promote good school attendance in their offices as well as in the community, and the state and federal policy levels.
Chronic absenteeism -- defined as missing 10 percent of the school year for any reason -- results in students who are likely to lag behind academically and more likely to drop out. This puts them at risk for unhealthy behaviors by the time they reach their teens, and poor health as adults, the AAP says.
The statement offers proven measures to improve student health and reduce chronic absenteeism for all students, such as increased hand washing and access to school nurses and counselors, and suggests how health care providers can avoid contributing to student absences. It includes practical recommendations for providers seeing children with moderate chronic absenteeism (missing 2 or 3 days of school per month) and for patients with severe chronic absenteeism (missing 4 or more days of school per month).
Please share the AAP policy statement with health care providers working with children and encourage them to educate families and students about the importance of regular attendance. Attendance Works has developed a downloadable case statement for all health providers that explains what they can do to address chronic absenteeism in their practice and community.