Primary school insisting my child takes water not squash to school, despite there being a medical reason for it

(778 Posts)

My ds is 10 and suffers from frequent migraines. He takes daily preventative meds for them, and we try hard to manage them by eliminating triggers.

Obviously, dehydration is a major trigger, and so I need to make sure he drink enough during the day. I send him to school with weak squash in his water bottle, as he is not overly keen on water, and so will not drink enough of it. I know this to be the case from seeing him drink at home.

School are kicking up an almighty fuss about it. I have spoken to them countless times explaining why he needs the squash, and have also written a letter insisting he be alowed it, abd again explained why.
Today he was pulled into the heads office because of the squash.

I went in after school and asked to see the head. I was told she could only speak to me for 2 minutes. She came out and right away knew why I was there. She just went on and on about many people not liking water and getting headaches, but that other kids would think it was ok for their child to bring in squash also.
She then said that my ds had promised earlier that day, to try and drink only water next week. So basically they got him to agree to this in a meeting with no parent present.

I explained again about his migraines, but she basically insisted and just said that ds had agreed now.

Is there anyting I can do about this ? I think their treatment of him and his condition is appaling. We have also had issues where they have made him wait for calpol when a headache starts.

AuntieStella Thu 04-Jul-13 17:11:56

Yes, get a letter from the doctor.

Parents requests just don't carry the same weight, as schools have sadly all too often seen those who take the mickey. But in black and white from a doctor just cannot be brushed aside.

mumblechum1 Thu 04-Jul-13 17:12:12

Oooh I would just be sneaky and buy him flavoured water. Or put squash into a coloured, lidded bottle so they couldn't see.

Nosy so and so's!

They sniff the water in the bottles, to make sure it is water.

I was hoping to avoid getting a doctors letter, as i seem to spend half my life in there atm, but looks like i will have to.

mumblechum1 Thu 04-Jul-13 17:21:36

God they are utter loons. What do they think is in squash, liquid heroin?

keepsmiling12345 Thu 04-Jul-13 17:26:45

I can see the school's point. Ours is the same, water only, to encourage healthy eating/drinking. Seems reasonable to me otherwise other parents whose children are simply fussy will also want their child allowed to bring squash. However, i am sure that if you provide a doctor's letter detailing the medical reasons why your child must be allowed squash I am sure the school will find a way to accommodate this.

I would draft a care plan for him while he is at school. State the daily medication and the preventative measures (ie must remain well hydrated. Child requires incentive to drink fluids therefore weak squash is provided by parent). Then state his symptoms if a migraine is coming on and say exactly what should be done - eg administer 500mg of paracetamol as an oral suspension (provided by parent and kept in school office), telephone parent and request child is taken home. Continue to offer fluids.

You get the idea smile If you're really lucky when you meet the ht to discuss it, she'll sign it.

Good luck!

keepsmiling12345 Thu 04-Jul-13 17:33:11

Really good suggestion motherofsnortpigs. State very clearly what needs to be done and make it as easy as possible for the school to agree to follow it. That way everyone is happy.

Frikadellen Thu 04-Jul-13 17:33:47

If he has to have squash (and I can see the schools POW here) then I would agree to work with the school here and buy colour less type and make sure ds doesnt tell his friends he has squash and not water.

Personally I would work on ensuring that he drinks more water over the holiday..

I have tried countless times to get ds to drink water, and he won't.

I am more than happy to provide a bottle that isn't see through and it be flavoured water so know one can tell, but school are saying no.

I will look up care plans.

justalilmummy Thu 04-Jul-13 17:43:38

Havnt really got any advice but wanted to say ds school insists on water alone and it drives me mad as my ds refuses point blank to drink water, which is ok as hes only in nursery atm for 3 hours and gets a carton of milk, but come September I hate the thought of him going 6 hours without a drink which I know he will if I only give him water!
I'm going to do what op suggested in sneaking squash in a coloured bottle, which I know many parents alreadydo!

auntpetunia Thu 04-Jul-13 17:46:00

Find out who your school nurse and get her on side, she can then deal with school on your behalf and can speakt your gp for you.

PandaNot Thu 04-Jul-13 17:49:40

At 10 he's old enough to know that he needs to drink water to stop him becoming ill. Sorry, I'd have no sympathy with my son and I'd just tell him to get on with it, its the rules and its not like they're saying he isn't allowed to drink anything. But obviously I'm a bit harsher with my children than you!

curlew Thu 04-Jul-13 17:50:50

My children would be delighted to have a "medical reason" to have squash!

He's 10. Old enough to understand that he needs to drink, and that water is the best thing for him to drink. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to headaches, by the way.

And we'll done to the Head for explaining it to him and treating him as mature enough to understand.

Pandanot - Yes clearly you are.

Have you seen the distress of a child suffering from a migraine ? I have, countless times, and drinking a beaker full of weak squash per day, is a very small prive to pay, to decrease the chane of him getting one.

ComtessedeFrouFrou Thu 04-Jul-13 17:52:53

I'm with Panda. At 10 your child should be learning that sometimes you have to do things you don't like, such as take medicine to stay well or drink water. It's not like you're forcing him to take castor oil, is it?

A migaine is not simply a headache.

PandaNot Thu 04-Jul-13 17:53:57

Yes I have actually. My ds has them, he's 9 and has had them since he was 5. He drinks his water.

He also takes medication for the migraines that has made him put on weight. Should I stop those aswell, and tell him to just deal with it, because his tablets are making him fat ?

edwinamerckx Thu 04-Jul-13 17:55:07

wtf is it with control freak teachers? If it's not uniforms it's drinks now? Seems like the teaching profession still attracts the same little hitlers that it did when I was at school. At least they can't actually legally beat the crap out of kids any more as they used to with us.

And if he didn't drink water, you'd let him suffer instead ? Good for you.

I have 3 children, and my ds is my youngest. I have never gone against school on anything that they implement, but my child wellbeing is more important than their stupid rules.

Fairenuff Thu 04-Jul-13 17:56:03

What is there not to like about water? It doesn't taste nasty it just has no particular flavour. Ten is definitely old enough to know that sometimes we have to do things we don't want to. Especially if it means avoiding a painful headache.

AvonCallingBarksdale Thu 04-Jul-13 17:56:07

tbh I can see the school's point here. All children need to stay hydrated, and probably lots of them would prefer to drink squash rather than plain water. I think your DS is old enough now to understand that he needs to keep up his fluids to try and stave off migraines, and those fluids should be water. Migraines are horrible, I used to get them as a teenager, so I do feel for your DS. If you can persuade your doctor to write a note, then do that, but I don't think you'll have much luck with the school otherwise.

The problem with squash is the stickyness when it spills, so I can see why the school has that rule. And sneaking squash into a coloured bottle - really? hmm not going to be a great start to your relationship with the school, justalilmummy...

Should add that both my elder children happily took water to school, so it isn't that i just don't care and let him drink what he likes. I have tried to get him to drink water, but he drinks a tiny fraction of the bottle, if it only has water in, and then he gets a migraine.

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