If your child is just starting school or changing schools, it is important to talk face-to-face with school officials about your child’s bleeding disorder. Children spend a significant amount of time in the care of others, and it is imperative the school is aware of simple steps to ensure your child’s care and safety.
Below are a few tips when connecting with school staff:
- Set a time when you can talk specifically with office staff, school nurse and the primary instructor. Explain details about your child’s bleeding disorder, and the level of severity. Provide online resources and refer them to your local chapter or Hemophilia Treatment Center for more information.
- Provide the school with a complete contact list. Include all of your numbers and an alternative contact person just in case.
- Confirm that the school has rubber gloves, cleaning supplies and disposal procedures for blood spills.
- Teachers should be aware of swelling, redness, tenderness and warmth of a joint.
- If your child self-infuses, determine where the factor and supplies can be stored, where your child will infuse, and if the school nurse can monitor the process to ensure safety.
- If you prefer to infuse your child at school, make sure you confirm your involvement and details with the school.
- If your child suspects a bleed or has an incident, make sure the school understands they need to apply an ice pack to the affected area, apply compression by wrapping the injury with an ace bandage, and elevate the limb. After infusion, the child can return to class.
- If a mouth bleed occurs, apply pressure and have the child bit on a wet tea bag (staff can also apply a popsicle to the area). In the case of a nosebleed, hold the head midline and apply pressure on the side of the bleeding area for at least 20 minutes.
- If head trauma occurs, you should be contacted immediately, and you can arrange for additional treatment outside of the school. Based on the level of trauma, you can give the school the authority to contact the ambulance immediately.
The most important thing is to have clear and direct communication with school officials, school nurse, and teachers to ensure the safety of your child.