Supporting Students with Chronic Health Conditions in School-Based OST Programs
In the United States, more than 40% of school-aged children and adolescents have at least one chronic health condition,1 such as asthma, obesity, other physical conditions, and behavior/learning problems. The healthcare needs of children with chronic illness can be complex and continuous and includes both daily management and addressing potential emergencies.
It is important that staff in settings where students spend time, such as schools and out of school time (OST) programs (before and after school), have the skills and resources needed to support students with chronic health conditions.
As the COVID-19 pandemic proceeds, schools are either welcoming students back in person, conducting classes entirely remotely, or using a hybrid format. As a result, families may have different types of OST programs available or few to no options compared with previous years. Families and OST program staff may also have different considerations when it comes to supporting the participation of students with chronic health conditions.
This CDC issue brief pdf icon[PDF – 1.86 MB] presents policy and programmatic considerations for students with chronic health conditions who attend public school-based OST programs. The brief highlights the importance of communication and coordination between students and caregivers, school administration and staff, and school-based OST programs. Each setting serves students but may have different approaches and personnel for helping students manage their chronic health conditions.
- National Survey of Children’s Health. NSCH 2018 19: Number of Current or Lifelong Health Conditions, Nationwide, Age in 3 Groups website. childhealthdata.org. Accessed February 24, 2021.