Children and young people

Children and young people

'43% of English working age adults will struggle to understand instructions to calculate a childhood paracetamol dose'

(Making it Easy: A health literacy action plan for Scotland)

People with lower health literacy levels not only have more difficulties managing their own health, they are also more likely to have issues managing the health of others they care for including children. 

In addition to supporting parents to be more health literate, we should also consider how we support children and young people to develop their health literacy skills as they learn and grow. This should be done alongside consideration and recognition of the impact of parental health literacy and wider social and environmental influences. A report from a stakeholder workshop exploring health literacy in the health and education sectors for children and young people states that while children receive a great many health messages through a range of health education modules that these are not incorporated into wider activities to consider pupils' broader health literacy. 

(Royal Society for Public Health)

Child health literacy appears to be a distinct issue to adult health literacy and professionals should consider the specific needs of children and young people in terms of improving their health literacy to support them in becoming health literate adults and in meeting their communication and health information needs in addition to considering parental health literacy.