Children's Health, Safety and Well-Being

Linking children’s health to education

photo by Lauren Long

The importance of children’s health, safety and well-being is explicit in the core values of the American Federation of Teachers. Today, 1 in 5 children struggles with a mental illness or lives in a food-insecure household. Impoverished children face even greater health risks with limited access to appropriate care. Recognizing the growing challenge of health disparities and their impact on school success, the AFT health, safety and well-being department created a new program focused on children’s wellness.

AFT members and leaders are the frontline workers teaching and caring for our students, so we wanted to hear from them as we shaped our program. Based on the results of a survey we distributed, the top three children’s health priorities that emerged were mental health, equitable access to care and food security.

Below, you can read more on how these and other health issues affect learning, as well as find strategies to help students thrive at school and beyond.

Helping children thrive

Helping children thrive
AFT members and leaders across the country speak out about priorities, opportunities and challenges in children’s health, safety and well-being in the Helping Children Thrive survey report. Then, spread the word in your school with infographics in THRIVE: Student Health Matters. 

Share your work

Write to us and share your school, district or members’ work on children’s health with the Child Health, Safety & Well-Being program.

Health & Safety for All

Where we work, learn and go to heal can have an enormous impact on our health and well-being. Learn more about health and safety in the workplace, and download our informational material