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Health-related knowledge and behaviour of primary school children

J.S. Beyleveldt
C. Burnett
W.J. Hollander


There is a serious need for children to be informed about the negative influence of unhealthy living which has become part and parcel of the post-industrial contemporary society. The aim of this study was to investigate the health-related knowledge and behaviour of senior primary school children in the Honeydew area, and to offer recommendations for health education. A literature study informed this explorative study and the development of a self-constructed questionnaire. One hundred-and-two (n=102) grade seven learners from three socio-economically-diverse schools in Honeydew completed the questionnaires. The respondents demonstrated a reasonable general knowledge of health, and they led relatively healthy lives. There are however reasons for concern in some areas relating to a relatively high consumption of eggs, salt, snacks and soft drinks that may negatively affect the learners' health. Some learners were involved in unprotected sex, the use of alcohol, cigarette smoking and experimenting with drugs. These behaviours should be addressed through various health-education strategies that would optimally facilitate health education and behaviour.

Key words: Health education, health-related knowledge, health-related behaviour, children.

(Af. J. Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance: 2003 Special Edition: 196-204)