With Fall comes the rush of Back to School season in many parts of the country. Whether or not your child has already gone back to school, it can also be a good time to review your child’s health care plan at school if they have one, and check on medical supplies at school. Here are some tips for the Back to School season to make sure your child is all set to learn.
- Review your child’s medical plan for accuracy, and go over it with the child’s doctor, school nurse if they have one, and your child’s teachers.
- Take a look at your child’s medical ID bracelet—is it accurate? Will it hold up to another school year? Do they wear it? These are all important things to consider to keep them safe!
- Ensure teachers are trained for how to deal with symptoms and medical emergencies associated with your child’s condition.
- Check on medicines and medical supplies at school—if it’s the beginning of the year, they should have been sent home over summer. Be sure to review expiration dates on medicines, especially those you may not look at frequently like EpiPens or other epinephrine injectors.
- For kids with diabetes, check on where hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) treatments are stored, that they are well-stocked, and if any of these items are passing their prime. As well, check the expiration dates on insulin and glucagon kits stored at school, test strips, and make sure school blood glucose meters have extra batteries or charing cords.
- Check dosing logs for inhalers to see how many doses are left. It’s often a good idea to start the school year with a new inhaler, especially if it does not have a dose counter. Ensure that spacers stored at school are clean—these should be sent home or swapped out regularly for cleaning.
For all kids, including those without chronic illness, keep these tips in mind:
- Remind kids to wash their hands regularly, especially as illnesses sometimes hit their peak in September when people are getting back from summer adventures bringing all kinds of random germs with them into small spaces!
- Remind kids not to share hats or hoodies especially with others to avoid sharing lice—even if they “know” the other person is lice free! Check kids for lice regularly.
- Ensure kids understand, at a developmentally appropriate level, the health needs of kids in their classes. This could include not sharing food in case people have food allergies, and to always tell a teacher or adult if they think someone is not okay.
- Educate kids that perfumes, colognes, and scented hand creams or hand sanitizers, to name a few, can make people sick: this includes those with headaches or migraines, as well as people with asthma and allergies. Ensue kids have fragrance-free products to take to school.
- Consider packing a small first-aid kit in your kid’s backpack—include things like tissues, Band-Aids, and feminine hygiene products for girls who are nearing puberty.
- Discuss safety issues that may affect them, including safe street crossing, not speaking to strangers, and how to get out of dangerous situations. As well, kids are more connected online than ever: ensure cyber safety is a part of this discussion.
With the right steps, going back to school can be a smooth and healthy process. If your child’s medical ID needs updating—or they don’t have one yet—be sure to check out our selection of medical ID bracelets and necklaces for kids with medical conditions like diabetes, autism, asthma, food allergies, and epilepsy.