POLICY & PUBLICATIONS
Stay abreast of policy published by the AAP Council on School Health.
- School Start Time for Adolescents
Insufficient sleep in adolescents as an important public health issue that significantly affects the health and safety, as well as the academic success, of our nation’s middle and high school students. A substantial body of research now demonstrates that delaying school start times is an effective countermeasure to chronic sleep loss and has a wide range of potential benefits to students with regard to physical and mental health, safety, and academic achievement. This statement strongly supports the efforts of school districts to optimize sleep in students by encouraging school districts to aim for start times that allow students the opportunity to achieve optimal levels of, improve physical and mental health, safety (eg, drowsy driving crashes), academic performance, and quality of life.
- Returning to Learning Following a Concussion
Following a concussion, it is common for children and adolescents to experience difficulties in the school setting. Cognitive difficulties, such as learning new tasks or remembering previously learned material, may pose challenges in the classroom. This report serves to provide a better understanding of possible factors that may contribute to difficulties in a school environment following a concussion and serves as a framework for the medical home, the educational home, and the family home to guide the student to a successful and safe return to learning.
- Sample Return to Learning Note for Physicians (PDF | Word.doc)
This Return to Learning note can be used by a doctor to allow the patient to recover from a concussion and to provide guidance to the school about the child’s restrictive activity.
Note: This form may be duplicated or changed to suit your needs and your patients’ needs without permission from the AAP.
- The Crucial Role of Recess in Schools
Recess is a necessary break in the day for optimizing a child’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive development and should not be withheld for academic or punitive reasons. Recess should be safe and well-supervised and serve as a complement and not a replacement for physical education.
- Role of the School Physician
The concept of a school physician has existed for over a century, however, uniformity of this role among states and school districts and laws governing it are lacking. This statement helps pediatricians understand the critical knowledge base, roles and relationships of the school physician to aid them in supporting and promoting this important role in their states and local schools.
- Climatic Heat Stress and the Exercising Child and Adolescent
This statement and its recommendations seek to improve performance and reduce the risk of exertional heat illness in children and adolescents during outdoor sports and other physical activity in the heat. It serves as a basis for educating those individuals overseeing children and adolescents engaging in sports and other physical activity in the heat.
- Creating Healthy Camp Experiences
These recommendations are intended for parents, primary health care providers, and camp administration and health center staff. Although camps have diverse environments, there are general guidelines that apply to all situations and specific recommendations that are appropriate under special conditions.
- Management of Food Allergy in the School Setting
Food allergy is estimated to affect approximately 1 in 25 school-aged children and is the most common trigger of anaphylaxis in this age group; thus, it is important that pediatricians and schools are able to effectively manage food allergy and prevent anaphylaxis. Management of food allergy in school requires strategies to reduce the risk of ingestion of the allergen as well as procedures to recognize and treat allergic reactions and anaphylaxis. This clinical report highlights the role of the pediatrician and pediatric health care provider in managing students with food allergies and ensuring students with food allergies are safe, healthy and able to learn.
- Head Lice
This revised clinical report clarifies current diagnosis and treatment protocols and provides guidance for the management of children with head lice in the school setting.
- Honoring Do-Not-Attempt-Resuscitation Requests in School
When families have chosen to limit resuscitative efforts, school officials should understand the medical, emotional, and legal issues involved.
- Guidance for the Administration of Medication in School
Many children who take medications require them during the school day. All districts and schools need to have policies and plans in place for safe, effective, and efficient administration of medications at school
- Disaster Planning for Schools
This statement offers a clear, stepwise guideline for physicians, schools and communities to collaborate in preparing for a wide array of threats.
- Medical Emergencies Occurring at School
This statement describes many ways that school and local pediatricians can plan for and be responsive to the student who develops an acute emergency unexpectedly.
- The Role of the School Nurse in Providing School Health Services
This policy statement describes the role of the school nurse in serving as a team member in providing preventive services, early identification of problems, interventions, and referrals to foster health and educational success.
- School Readiness [technical report]
School readiness includes the readiness of the individual child, the school's readiness for children, and the ability of the family and community to support optimal early child development. This report discusses how schools, pediatricians and communities can promote school readiness and shift it from being an exclusion criterion at the educational starting gate to an effective outcome measure for community-based programs.
- The Role of Schools in Combating Illicit Substance Abuse
The use of random drug testing on students as a component of drug prevention programs requires additional, more rigorous scientific evaluation. Widespread implementation should await the result of ongoing studies to address the effectiveness of testing and evaluate possible inadvertent harm. If drug testing on students is conducted, it should never be implemented in isolation. A comprehensive assessment and therapeutic management program for the student who tests positive should be in place before any testing is performed.
- School Transportation Safety
This policy provides updated information, studies, regulations, and recommendations related to the safe transportation of children to and from school and school related activities
- Preventing and Treating Homesickness
Almost all children, adolescents, and adults experience some degree of homesickness when they are apart from familiar people and environments. This statement provides techniques to aid in the prevention of homesickness in the case of a planned separation, such as summer camp, as well as effective treatment strategies in the case of unanticipated or traumatic separation, such as hospitalization.
- Active Healthy Living: Prevention of Childhood Obesity through Increased Physical Activity
This policy statement reaffirms the AAP support for the efforts of schools to include increased physical activity within the school day. The statement suggests ways schools can meet their goals in physical fitness, and encourages pediatricians to offer their assistance.
- Health Appraisal Guidelines for Day Camps and Resident Camps
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that specific guidelines be established for pre-camp health appraisals of young people in day and resident camps.
- School-Based Mental Health Services
More than 20% of children and adolescents have mental health problems. School-based programs offer the promise of improving access to diagnosis of and treatment for the mental health problems of children and adolescents.
- Soft Drinks in Schools
School officials and parents need to become well informed about the health implications of vended drinks in school before making a decision about student access to them. A clearly defined, district-wide policy that restricts the sale of soft drinks will safeguard against health problems as a result of overconsumption.
- Out-of-School Suspension and Expulsion
This policy statement highlights aspects of suspension and expulsion that jeopardize children’s health and safety. Recommendations are targeted at pediatricians, who can help schools address the root causes of behaviors that lead to suspension and expulsion and can advocate for alternative disciplinary policies.
- The Inappropriate Use of School "Readiness" Tests
Readiness testing can vary greatly in its sophistication and can easily be incorrectly applied and interpreted.
- Organized Sports for Children and Preadolescents
Recommendations are offered on how pediatricians can help determine a child's readiness to participate, how risks can be minimized, and how child-oriented goals can be maximized.
- School Health Centers and Other Integrated School Health Services
This statement offers guidance on the integration of expanded school health services, including school-based and school-linked health centers, into community-based health care systems.
- Home, Hospital, and Other Non-School-based Instruction for Children and Adolescents Who Are Medically Unable to Attend School
This statement is meant to assist evaluation and planning for children to receive non-school-based instruction and to return to school at the earliest possible date.
- Corporal Punishment in Schools
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that corporal punishment in schools be abolished in all states by law and that alternative forms of student behavior management be used.
- School Health Assessments
This statement provides guidance on the scope of in-school health assessments and the roles of the pediatrician, school nurse, school, and community.
Related AAP Policy
- Provision of Educationally Related Services for Children and Adolescents With Chronic Diseases and Disabling Conditions
Children and adolescents with chronic diseases and disabling conditions often need educationally related services. As medical home providers, physicians and other health care professionals can assist children, adolescents, and their families with the complex federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and systems associated with obtaining these services.
- The Pediatrician's Role in Development and Implementation of an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and/or an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP)
The Individual Education Plan and Individual Family Service Plan are legally mandated documents developed by a multidisciplinary team that specifies goals and services for each child eligible for special educational or early intervention services. Pediatricians should be knowledgeable of federal, state, and local requirements; establish linkages with early intervention, educational professionals, and parent support groups; and collaborate with the team working with individual children.
- Managing Asthma in Schools What Have We Learned?
The CDC and the National, Heart, Lung and Blood Institute developed a cutting-edge publication, that provides updated information on developing, implementing, and evaluating school-based asthma programs. This special issue of the Journal of School Health features more than 25 research articles, brief reports, and case studies that cover a range of activities, such as asthma education programs for students and staff members, asthma-related health services, and policy changes. It includes an up-to-date list of resources for school-based asthma programs.
- Emergency Guidelines for Schools (EGS)
The Ohio Department of Health, School and Adolescent Health in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS), Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program, and the Emergency Care Committee of the Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have released the third edition of the Emergency Guidelines for Schools (EGS). The initial EGS were field tested in seven school districts throughout Ohio in 1997 and revised based on school feedback.To find out if your state has its own guidelines, please contact your state Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program or state Department of Health.
- Bereavement Guidelines
Developed by the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement these guidelines are designed to help school staff, administrators and crisis team members respond to student needs after a loss impacting the school environment.