Chronic conditions, also known as non-communicable diseases or long-term conditions, cover a wide range of disorders, illnesses, and diseases that are long-term in nature and have long-term consequences. Chronic illnesses can disrupt a child's natural development and put them at risk of being developmentally fragile when they start school. Because chronic illnesses often last a person's entire life, long-term management by individuals and health professionals is usually required. Around 46% of boys and 39% of girls aged 0–14 had one or more chronic illnesses, whereas 20% had two or more long-term illnesses. Boys were more likely than girls to have at least one long-term ailment (46 per cent compared with 39 per cent).

Effects of Chronic Illness on Schooling

A persistent sickness might cause students to miss a lot of schools. This could be due to the fact that they need to travel to the hospital, recuperating at home, or keep frequent medical visits. This can lead to:

  • Difficulty in participating in exams and finishing work on time
  • Decreased academic performance
  • Struggle in maintaining relationships with school friends
  • Difficulty in dealing with the school environment
  • Difficulty participating in some school activities (for instance, physical education or outings)
  • Feeling less confident and motivated, possibly affecting self-esteem

Stats and data for Common Chronic condition

Obesity: Obesity affects 25% of Australian children and adolescents and is linked to poorer health and wellbeing as well as increased healthcare expenses. The percentage of children and adolescents who are overweight or obese has risen from 31% to 38% in the last six years.

Autism Spectrum Disorder: According to a survey, there are around 83,700 children and young people (5 to 20 years old) with autism and disabilities who live in households and attend school. The majority of students (85%) reported having trouble in school, with around one in every four students (28%) attending a special school. Fitting in socially (63 per cent), learning issues (62 per cent), and communication difficulties were the most common forms of difficulties (52 per cent).

ADHD: This chronic illness has an impact on a child's learning and social connections, as well as family functioning. In Australia, one out of every 20 children is thought to have ADHD. It affects boys more than girls.

Anxiety/Depression: Clinical anxiety symptoms affect around 278,000 Australian children and teenagers aged 4 to 17. According to the survey, about 3% of children have been diagnosed with major depressive illness, 6% with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and 2.5 per cent with conduct disorder.

Diabetes: According to a recent survey, there were 6,527 children with type 1 diabetes and the rate of 141 per 100,000 children. Diabetes was shown to be somewhat more common in girls than in boys (144 compared with 138 per 100,000, respectively). With 288 per 100,000 girls and 273 per 100,000 boys, the disparity was largest in children aged 10–14.

Asthma: According to official statistics, ten per cent of Australian children aged 0–14 years old (about 460,000) have asthma as a long-term ailment. Asthma was found to be more frequent in boys aged 0–14 years (12%) than in girls (8 per cent). Virus infections, exposure to particular allergens, irritants, exercise, and other chemical or nutritional additives are all known to promote chronic illness.

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