To think this schools policy on prescribed medicines is wrong?

(135 Posts)
ForrinForrinerFromForrinLand Thu 10-Oct-13 18:24:34

I just wondered weather there is a standard rule about this for all primary schools?

DN has just started school in. He suffers from severe asthma, its especially bad in winter months to the point where he has hospital stays monthly. His school initially requested that an inhaler was taken in. However after a little probing it seems they haven't been giving it to him. He's very wheezy. When asked the teacher responded by saying that he didn't request it. They expected a 4 yr old to prompt them every 4 hours for an inhaler! And now the school is saying they won't be responsible for ensuring the inhaler is regularly given to DN.

Now I'm a little shocked as I assumed schools had a duty of care. And certainly had to have plans in place for children who needed prescribed medication during the school day.

Sirzy Fri 11-Oct-13 10:12:35

That is all I have been saying (perhaps badly) altkin.

With children with asthma (and I assume other medical conditions) it is so helpful for the child to learn to manage it from a young age - with support and prompts of course. A child of school age is soon going to be invited to friends houses to play and to parties and things so getting that little bit of "independent" control is useful for them to be able to carry on as normal without being held back by their asthma.

ForrinForrinerFromForrinLand Fri 11-Oct-13 09:51:34

Sorry meant to say some posters have children with severe asthma. I don't think it's been helpful making sweeping comments about the needs of a 4yr old asthmatic without knowing about this childs needs/ condition in particular.

ForrinForrinerFromForrinLand Fri 11-Oct-13 09:49:34

Altinkum thank you. As I keep saying at 4 DN is a young 4 iykwim. His speech isn't particularly clear and unless you knew him well he'd be hard to understand. I completely understand that some posters here have ch

Altinkum Fri 11-Oct-13 08:16:07

Actually completly agree with you their and will be something I may use, if ds goes onto packed lunches.

Sirzy Fri 11-Oct-13 08:11:56

Like I said that is why I would link it to lunch time, most 4 year olds can understand to have lunch then ask for it or ask as he goes to pick up his lunch box - even if at first mum needs to put a picture of his inhaler on the lunch box to remind him!

School should do it but if they can find a way to make it part of the routine all around then that has to be best for everyone!

SilverApples Fri 11-Oct-13 08:11:34

School nurses are usually fantastic at getting teaching staff to see the reality of what needs to be done and the potentially fatal consequences if not.

SilverApples Fri 11-Oct-13 08:09:12

He needs an individual care plan so that the responsibility for his welfare lies with a named adult. IMO, the school is being negligent, he needs medication to be supported and supervised until he is ready to self-medicate independently.
So, meeting with SENCO can be arranged through the school, your sister can contact the school nurse independently, ask for her support and she can train the relevant staff 9(CT, TA and a MDS as a minimum) To ensure that they are aware of the signs and can be pro-active about his safety and care.
The current state of affairs isn't OK, or acceptable. Someone needs to be pointing this out firmly and clearly to the management and the CT.

Altinkum Fri 11-Oct-13 08:08:39

But in fairness to the OP, she hasn't mentioned about his understanding if his condition, only that he needs it every 4 hours and that the school is refusing to do so, based on the fact he hasn't asked for it.

Both of these are wrong, and life threatening to a child with chronic asthma. As a asthma nurse (I think that's what you said) is just wrong and is putting the child at massive risk.

At the end if the day the child is 4, tell me off a child who is aware if time?

Sirzy Fri 11-Oct-13 08:01:45

But you are trying to encourage that understanding even though he has additional needs. From what the op has said they don't seem to even be doing that with him (of course that may not be the case)

Altinkum Fri 11-Oct-13 07:58:42

Sizry my comment wasn't aimed at you, however since to mentioned it, see my above post, I can talk to my son about his condition till I'm blue in the face, but at 4 years of age, he is still a baby, in terms of his ability to understand, physically and emotionally, as well as deveplomentally.

Personally too going by him and his understanding of the word around him, he's just dosent "get" that he needs them, no matter how much we try, we have the asthma sticker chart currently, to show his consultant how much he's needing it, he still dosent get it, but at 4 it's not a big deal, because ll of us adults remind him, be that us, grandparents and his teachers, who really do take his condition seriously, but then thy have had to phone a ambulance for him, in full attack.

Sirzy Fri 11-Oct-13 07:50:47

I have plenty of knowledge which is exactly why I think is important for the child to understand his condition as much as possible as well as for the parents to work with the school to come up with a proper action plan. So far it sounds like its been something mentioned in passing rather than arranging specific meetings to sort if out.

Altinkum Fri 11-Oct-13 07:46:32

Really is boiling my piss today with quite a few of these comments concerning this thread because no one seems to read the OP!!!

Not all children are the same, shockingly they are different, comparing a puppy to train in the same way as a child is not only rude but offensive too!!! Not all puppy's can be trained, do you expect the animal to tell you when it needs ya medication!!!!

Not every child knows why they are ill, like most children they just carry on being children..... I can speak for ds only, but one minute he can be happy playing, the next he can be in a full blown asthma attack and something has triggered it off.

The op's child ISN'T having breathing difficulties, he is needing his inhaler every 4 hrs to maintain open airways, legally the school have to do this!!!

Contact Asthma UK, OP because some people are making lots f assumptions based on little knowledge or even any knowledge on the condition itself!

NewNameforNewTerm Fri 11-Oct-13 07:37:28

Of course we learn something every day Brian, what an odd statement! I didn't understand the complex medical condition one of my new class has, but the mum didn't assume I would because despite needing frequently blood tests throughout the day and action from the results it is not basic diabetes. But if teachers have a clear care plan they do understand. My point was that it may be a communication breakdown both ways, not just teachers being ignorant!

Sirzy Fri 11-Oct-13 06:21:48

Forrin - DS knows he needs his inhalers when he wakes up and before he goes to bed. When he is having them at dinner he knows he needs to take them at dinner time. That sort of routine really shouldn't be hard for a child without special needs to understand, especially not one with such severe asthma.

I am not saying the school shouldn't help not at all but surely it is in the child's best interest to ensure they are fully aware of the condition and take some sort of "control" of it from as young as possible?

BrianTheMole Fri 11-Oct-13 01:31:07

But then I've never had a child that need it every four hours like the OPs Niece/Nephew.

You learn something new every day then. Like if I don't take my becotide inhaler every four hours, then I will end up in hospital. Not every case of asthma is dealt with in the same way.

Altinkum Fri 11-Oct-13 00:30:50

Yeah I've told them, he honestly just dosent get he's ill, even when he's very poorly, he just ask for me or his dad, to make him better. smile poor mite has had serious life battling extensive medical history, but because we are their every step of the way, he looks to us to help him. (Actually does a little cry sad )

NewNameforNewTerm Fri 11-Oct-13 00:18:05

At least he's recognising he's in need asking for something Altinkum smile. When you share that story hopefully it will alert people he needs his inhalers. He'll get there.

I had a pupil with ASD that used to tell me he needed banana bread ... this meant he felt the symptoms he often had before an epileptic fit, nothing to do with cake! We knew this so could move him to a safe place (although he frequently didn't fit then, but better safe ...)

Altinkum Fri 11-Oct-13 00:02:11

My son is 4 is also S&L delayed, is also 9 months developmentally behind his peers, if he gets a coughs/wheeze he asks for cough medicine. hmm no matter how much I explain to him, he just doesn't get that he needs his inhaler.

About 11 months ago our ex child minder took ds to a home with 3 large hairy dogs, 2 hours later (after being given antihistamines, emergency dosages of inhaler, 200 ml of predistone, 4 nebulisers, at the walk in centre, he was blue lighted to out local hospital where he was resuscitated!!!

I have a thread on here in the children's health asthma, and a later one too, in that he needed to be put onto resus (can never spell that word) ward as his heart rate was 160-180 beats per min, and his oxygen 53!!

Altinkum Thu 10-Oct-13 23:46:49

Legally the school is acting illegally. Their is literature about this, go to the asthma UK website.

Ventolin is just a reliever, you can be on the right steroid dosage but still need the reliever, me and my sons are triggered by animal hair, chemicals, cigarette smoke and also weather changes (currently off work, with a asthma attack yesterday because a lady who came into the restaurant worked in a animal shelter which triggered my attack).

3 people a day die from asthma attacks, it isn't a Mickey Mouse illnesses people die and people die daily!!!

My sons school currently gives him 5 puffs of inhaler every 4 hours and 10 puffs if outside at break time, they currently also give him his antibiotics in between this. At just turned 4 he cannot use his inhaler without his spacer.

Contact asthma Uk, speak to the head teacher, get a medical plan in order, and a doctors letter explaining the importance of his medication and his illness.

If this doesn't work, contact the board of governors and the LEA, if that doesn't work, contact the papers and your prime minister!!!

NCFail Thu 10-Oct-13 23:33:42

Ask to see their medicines policy - they have to have one.

Read the DfE policy on this and contact the school nurse.

I had to do exactly this, for exactly the same reason in reception... The school nurse and asthma nurse worked together to change the regime so it was given outside of school.

Schools should give medications but its variable.

Goofymum Thu 10-Oct-13 23:28:21

You really need to get a care plan in place with your surgery's practice nurse, or the local asthma nurse, since this is a chronic condition that needs regular medication. At my DD's school they make a big deal about care plans and they're updated every year by our asthma and allergy nurse. With something this important you can't expect kids that sgd to remember to keep taking their medication whether they are able to self medicate or not. But do make it official otherwise it won't get done.

PeppiNephrine Thu 10-Oct-13 23:18:29

My son is only a year older knows to ask for his meds if he isn't given them. You can easily train a four year old to respond to a watch alarm. Hell you can get a puppy to do it, it should be easy for a child!

NewNameforNewTerm Thu 10-Oct-13 23:15:43

Maybe this is a breakdown in communication. School asking for an inhaler to give when they recognise the child is wheezy, before PE, etc. without knowing it to be treated as regular interval medication, not as needed occasional emergency relief medication. Bearing in mind this is probably at least third hand information (not OP's child, but DN) it may not be as simple as school won't give inhalers. There is nothing in OP about school refusing to give the medication, in fact that actually asked for it.

When a child needs their inhaler I hold it and they hold their spacer. I press the dosage and the child breathes. This is until they have long enough arms and the coordination to press the puffer themselves with me there just counting their breaths. Sometimes I'll hear a child that needs their inhaler or know it is PE or cold or damp so they'll need it before playtime, but much of the time I do rely on children telling me they need it, their chest feels funny, etc. But then I've never had a child that need it every four hours like the OPs Niece/Nephew.

ForrinForrinerFromForrinLand Thu 10-Oct-13 23:15:26

sirzy but he's not struggling to breath is he, he needs regular dosage of his medication at 4hr intervals. Tell me does your 3yr old know how to tell the time? So he would be capable of alerting an adult when his meds are due?

StayAwayFromTheEdge Thu 10-Oct-13 23:11:48

SIrzy - he is 4 years old. Yes he does need to learn, but he has to be supported to do that and it will take time. The frightening thing is that teachers don't seem to realise just how serious asthma can be.

Hospital admissions for childhood asthma are incredibly high and many could be prevented with proper treatment.

My DS is 4. He missed reception this year by one week. There is no way he could manage his condition himself yet, and I am highly trained in asthma management.

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