Health class curricula vary depending on the school and grade level. While some classes may focus on the biology of the human body, others emphasize personal growth, emotional health, safety, and physical health. In health class, you may learn about nutrition, healthy lifestyle choices, personal care, and the kinds of changes you may expect as your mind and body develop. Interpersonal relationships and sex education are also often topics in health class.
Younger children often learn about their bodies and how they work. This may include the different bodily systems, such as the digestive system, respiratory system, or circulatory system. Students in all grades may also be taught how to care for their bodies by making healthy food choices, developing healthy sleep habits, and engaging in regular exercise. You may also learn about dental health and personal hygiene.
Personal growth and mental health are usually important aspects of health class, as well as learning skills to develop self-confidence and assertiveness. Suicide prevention is a common component of teen health classes. You may participate in role plays or read about people in difficult situations in order to foster open discussions about moral or ethical issues. You may also learn to identify signs of people in mental health crisis. Strategies for anger management, positive thinking, and ways of fostering healthy friendships and family relationships might be covered, and kids are often informed about resources available to them when they need help.
Physical health is usually dealt with in health classes for all ages. How to avoid illness, sexually transmitted diseases, drugs, and tobacco are common topics. You might learn strategies for resisting peer pressure to engage in dangerous lifestyle choices, such as drug or alcohol abuse, unprotected sex, or smoking. You may also learn about the damage poor choices may do to your body, to your relationships, and to your future opportunities.
Sex education is a common component in health classes, and is an issue of controversy in many communities. The goal of sex education is to give kids frank, accurate information about sex and their bodies that they may not learn at home. Sex education may include information about menstruation, masturbation, sexual organs, reproduction, birth control, and sexual relationships.
Some health class curricula contain information about safety and basic first aid. You may learn about how to avoid dangerous situations in the home, on the street, or outdoors, or how to protect yourself from violence. Some health teachers may also introduce CPR or emergency treatment of injuries or health crises.