Children’s health can have a noticeable impact on their ability to learn.
Vision and hearing problems, in particular, can impair a child’s ability to keep up in school.
That’s because an inability to see the blackboard or hear the teacher can keep a student from understanding what is being taught.
Distractions can also be caused by medical or dental problems, as well as learning disabilities.
In Santa Barbara County, children are screened for hearing, vision, and dental problems in kindergarten or first grade, and again in second, fifth, eighth, and tenth grade.
In order to identify potential health problems — including possible lead poisoning, the state requires preventative physicals for all first-graders.
If a teacher or school nurse notices a child is having a problem, a referral is made to the home.
In addition, tips from teachers can help school psychologists identify behavioral or learning problems, such as attention deficit disorder.
Nutrition and rest can also have a positive impact on children’s learning.
Research has shown that children who eat breakfast do better in school than those who do not.
Monitoring a child’s health, and paying attention to nutrition and rest, are important ways that parents can help children succeed in school.