Sharing your child’s health with their school

By: Shalini Forbis, MD

Does your child have a chronic health condition?  Possibly asthma, food allergies, a seizure disorder, something else?  For some conditions, such as food allergies or diabetes, there is really no other choice but to talk with the school nurse and teachers to make sure they are aware of the health condition and the needs of your child.

However, for some conditions, such as asthma (particularly if its fairly mild) the temptation may be to think, it probably won’t happen at school and not worry.  However, your child spends a large part of the waking day at school.  I send in the appropriate medications in case there is an event at school.  I also make it a point to meet with the teacher within two weeks of school starting.  This gives me a chance to let the teacher know that my child has the condition and, if there was an event, what the symptoms may be and how to respond.  My daughter also happens to be one of those “tough it out” kind of kids.  So, the teacher is also aware of this!  Last year, having alerted the teacher may have made a difference for my daughter.  She had problems in gym, and as usual was trying to tough it out.  The teacher noticed her symptoms and sent her to the office for medication!

Remember, giving teachers critical information can help them to make the correct decisions during the school day.  Don’t feel hesitant about talking with them – you are your child’s best advocate!

Four easy talking points for meeting with your child’s teacher:

  1. What is your child’s diagnosis?
  2. What can the teacher expect in the classroom? Will  your child have ongoing symptoms?  If so, what are they? If yes, what do these look like and what actions should be taken?  If not, will there be flare-ups?
  3. Are there activities that your child cannot participate in? If there are, talk with the teachers about what your child will do instead of the activity
  4. How will you & teacher communicate if there are problems? (For example, I prefer email and this seems to work well in our school district.)

Resources

Your child’s doctor, specialist and health care team!

Asthma

http://www.cdc.gov/asthma/schools.html

http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/asthma/school_asthma.html#

Diabetes

http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/parents-and-kids/diabetes-care-at-school/

http://www.cdc.gov/features/diabetesinschool/

Food Allergies

http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/allergies/school_foodallergy.html

http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/foodallergies/publications.htm

Seizure disorders

http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/livingwithepilepsy/parentsandcaregivers/parents/your-child-at-school.cfm

http://www.cdc.gov/epilepsy/projectstraining/training.htm#one

By: Shalini Forbis, MD

Dr. Forbis is a pediatrician in the Children’s Health Clinic at Dayton Children’s and a mother to two girls. As part of the “Dr. Mom Sqaud,” Dr. Forbis blogs about her experiences as both as doctor and a mom and hopes to share insight to other parents on issues related to both parenting and kids health. Learn more about Dr. Forbis!

- See more at: http://blog.childrensdayton.org/the-great-struggle-teens-and-sleep/#sthash.zZ6ZcWur.dpuf

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