Advocacy matters at the AAP! It is at the core of the organization's existence and we work every day to advocate for the health and well-being of children. The Council on School Health works closely with the AAP Department of Federal Affairs and the Department of Community, Chapter, and State Affairs to support the Academy’s federal advocacy efforts and those of AAP state chapters and local coalitions. The COSH advocates for quality school health services, policies, and programs and to ensure the health and safety of children and youth during the school day.

AAP Advocacy Resources

  • Federal Advocacy Web site
    The Department of Federal Affairs has been the Academy's voice on federal issues impacting children and pediatricians for more than four decades. Based in Washington, DC, the Department of Federal Affairs serves as the Academy’s Washington Office, advancing key child health priorities through lobbying Congress, building coalitions and raising public awareness.
  • State Advocacy Web site
    The Division of State Government Affairs, located at the Academy's Elk Grove Village headquarters, provides consultation on state legislative and regulatory activities and assists AAP chapters and members with addressing child and adolescent health and pediatric practice issues and strategies under consideration by state and local governments.
    •  State Government Affairs Report (coming soon)
    •  StateTrack
      This comprehensive state legislative tracking service is used by The Division of State Government Affairs staff to provide timely information on state legislation affecting pediatric practice and children’s health and well-being. This resource can complement chapter advocacy efforts.

  • AAP Advocacy Guide
    The AAP Advocacy Guide is a comprehensive, modular, online training tool designed specifically for those advocating for children and pediatric issues. The guide’s format includes quick searching for advocacy subject information enabling seasoned advocates and beginners to quickly gain basic skills, tips and tools for effective action on community, state and federal levels. Each chapter is structured with an overview, frequently asked questions, advocacy stories from pediatricians, and tools and support related to the chapter topic. Additional complementary components include a summary PowerPoint presentation, downloadable PDF files and training modules.

  • Prevention of Obesity Policy Opportunities Tool
    The Policy Opportunities Tool is designed to showcase the various policy strategies that support healthy active living for children and families. This tool is designed for healthcare professionals who have experience in advocacy and are interested in focusing their advocacy efforts on obesity prevention. 

  • Tobacco Prevention Policy Tool
    The Tobacco Prevention Policy Tool showcases various policy strategies that support prevention of youth tobacco initiation, reduction in secondhand smoke exposure, and access to quitlines and cessation services. This tool is designed for physicians and other health care professionals who are interested in focusing advocacy efforts on secondhand smoke and tobacco control in all states and communities, including disparate populations, and among military children and families.

  • Contact Your State AAP Chapter!
    Your Chapter wants to work with you on these issues. Please contact them for assistance and to inform them of your efforts.

Other Advocacy Resources

The following links are provided for the user’s convenience. The AAP is not responsible for the contents, accuracy, or timeliness of information contained on these websites

  • State School Health Policy Database
    The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) Healthy Schools Policy Database is a comprehensive set of state-level laws and policies from 50 states on more than 40 school health topics.  The database contains brief descriptions of laws, legal codes, rules, regulations, administrative orders, mandates, standards, resolutions, and other written means of exercising authority.

  • State School Health Policy Matrix
    The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD), the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) have collaborated to develop the State School Health Policy Matrix, a guide to state-level school health policies for the following topics: competitive foods and beverages, physical education and physical activity, and administration of medication in the school environment. The Matrix outlines relevant state-level policies for each of these areas, including a direct link to the policy. It also it indicates which political entity or agency adopted the policy or issued guidance, helping to answer the question – Who has historically had the authority to make policy changes in the areas of competitive foods and beverages, physical education and physical activity, and administration of medication in each state?

  • School Nutrition State Policy Index
    The School Nutrition Association has compiled a searchable state policy index of child nutrition policies. Users can search by state, by statute name, or by choosing from among more than two dozen topics.

  • Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Legislative Database
    The CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity maintains a nutrition, physical activity and obesity legislative database of state-level laws and proposed bills related to nutrition and physical activity topics. The current status of each bill is defined as pending, changed, enacted, or dead.

  • Public Health Law Program
    The CDC Public Health Law Program’s mission is to advance the public’s health through law.  The website includes materials and links that help examine the authority of the government at various jurisdictional levels to improve the health of the general population within societal limits and norms. It is also includes a Bibliography of Public Health Law Publications including one on adolescents and schools.

  • School Health Policies and Programs Study
    The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) is a survey of education policies and practices at the state, districts, and school levels conducted every six years by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is the largest, most comprehensive assessment of its kind in the United States and assesses the characteristics of eight components of school health at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

  • School Health Profiles
    The School Health Profiles is a system of surveys assessing school health policies and practices in states, large urban school districts, territories, and tribal governments that is conducted every two years. 

    Profiles monitors the status of:

    • School health education requirements and content
    • Physical education requirements
    • School health policies related to HIV infection/AIDS, tobacco-use prevention, and nutrition
    • Asthma management activities
    • Family and community involvement in school health program

  • Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network
    The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network provides comprehensive information about food allergy management in schools and camps, as well as guidelines for both parents and staff.  This site includes information on school guidelines for managing food allergies, state guidelines and national guidelines that have been implemented to help schools manage the needs of students with food allergies.

  • Food Allergy Policy Guide
    This policy guide from the NSBA details essential components of what constitutes a comprehensive food allergy policy.  In addition, the guide provides a glossary of terms, valuable information sources and sample state and local education policies and features a "Food Allergy Policy Checklist" that can help you assess the extent to which this guide’s components are included in food allergy policy and implemented in practice.  Many of the recommendations can also be applied to other chronic health conditions.  NSBA also has additional food allergy resources.   

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