chapter  1
24 Pages

Child health promotion programmes

ByDavid Hall, Jonathan Williams, David Elliman

Parents want their children to be healthy, and self-supporting, but the perceptions of parents, children and professionals about what health and happiness mean do not always coincide. Healthcare programmes for individual young children and families aim to achieve the promotion of optimal health, nutrition, development and emotional wellbeing. In the 21st century, most children in industrialised countries are physically healthy and often the factors that stop them feeling healthy are in their family life and the world around them. Mental health, emotional well-being, social relationships and the environment are as important in modern child health as physical disease or disability. Governments are increasingly interested in community healthcare programmes because, in partnership with other agencies, they can reduce social exclusion and the inequalities within and between local communities. The term 'surveillance' focused attention on the identification of disorder and abnormality, ignoring primary and tertiary prevention, and implied that child health depends on the constant vigilance of, and supervision by, health professionals.