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

(776 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.

curlew Thu 04-Jul-13 17:57:16

I know all about having children with migraines.

10 is quite old enough to understand that he needs to drink, and that water is what's available.

halcyondays Thu 04-Jul-13 17:58:42

Unless it was a clear bottle, other children wouldn't even know he was drinking squash not water. Sniffing bottles is ridiculously OTT.

AvonCallingBarksdale Thu 04-Jul-13 17:59:17

I'm curious, though, as well - isn't sugar linked to migraines, in which case squash won't be the best drink for him anyway, even though he prefers it. DISCLAIMER - I just remember reading that somewhere, it may well not be actual fact! I do sympathise with your DS, but it sounds like he just doesn't like water as opposed to not being able to drink it.

PandaNot Thu 04-Jul-13 17:59:28

He doesn't have a choice but to drink his water because he knows he'll be ill if he doesn't. Just like he became incredibly distressed when he first started taking medication because he found it so hard to take the tablets. But he had no choice so he got used to it. Having to drink plain water is not difficult. He's just not used to it. But like I said that's my children. You do what you think is best for yours.

wannaBe Thu 04-Jul-13 18:00:31

not liking water is not a medical reason to drink squash. Water is natural, he nneeds to drink, and actually water is more hydrating than squash is anyway.

The water isn't going to harm him, there is no reason why he cannot drink it. The head is absolutely right and you should stop pandering to his refusal to drink water. If he knows the consequences of not drinking water then he knows he should drink it in order too not get migrains. He's ten, perfectly old enough to understand.

Stop treating him like a baby and tell him he needs to drink more water if he doesn't want to end up feeling ill. It really its that simple- it's water, not rat poison.

Floggingmolly Thu 04-Jul-13 18:02:56

At 10, he should be old enough to make the connection between feeling unwell and not drinking enough water. He's not a toddler who has to be tricked into it.

Fairenuff Thu 04-Jul-13 18:04:45

he drinks a tiny fraction of the bottle, if it only has water in, and then he gets a migraine

Then he needs to drink more water. He is old enough to understand that. He has a choice - drink water or suffer a migraine.

I'm not sure that the gp would give you a letter stating that he should drink squash instead of water for medical reasons.

Floggingmolly Thu 04-Jul-13 18:05:06

Not liking water is hardly a medical reason for drinking squash? confused

throckenholt Thu 04-Jul-13 18:06:05

I think the school are making a mountain out of a molehill - surely other kids can be told he has to have special drink (not specified what) because of his medication.

I also think that he is old enough to learn that water is what he needs to keep him feeling ok - and should learn drink it - surely it can't be worse than a migraine ?

I'd agree with you OP, if he wasn't 10.

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Thu 04-Jul-13 18:06:20

It'll be much, much better for his long-term health if he learns to like water. I speak as someone who has a mouth-full of fillings because I refused to drink water, and spat it out. My parents pandered to this whim, and I now have the teeth of a person twice my age.

I weaned myself off squash after the first set of painful fillings, and now drink pretty much nothing but water. It used to make me gag as a child, but that was totally psychological.

I do see your child is beng singled out, but I really don't understand why a 10 yo HAS to have squash and can't just drink water.

mrz Thu 04-Jul-13 18:09:32

A GP would advise that water is better than squash if dehydration is a problem

His problem of not drinking enough at school needs to be addressed. If squash is a non-starter, then agree with school that he needs verbal encouragement and prompting to drink his water (maybe at set times of day) with extra attention paid to this on hotter days and during/after physical activity. The consequences of school failing to help you in this world presumably impact on your Ds's attendance - not good for school.

keepsmiling12345 Thu 04-Jul-13 18:16:32

Can't believe I missed that the OP's son is 10! Somehow I assumed this thread was about a reception child who couldn't understand what they needed to do to help prevent their migraines and therefore a doctor might be willing to write a note. Unfortunately, given he is 10, and assuming there is no medical reason he cant drink water, then i think it is unlikely a doctor would say in his professional opinion that your DS needs squash. Sorry OP. My DD also suffers from migraines and its been a learning curve for us both in how to prevent them. And sometimes, like avoiding chocolate and artificial sugars, it has been very hard for her to accept. But she has, and I am sure your DS can too. Good luck.

Squash isn't rat poison either is it !!!

I am not pandering to him at all. I have tried to get him to have water, but even with me reminding him to drink up, he just doesn't drink enough of it.

It's a shame his school give more thought to this than they do his education.

Suzieismyname Thu 04-Jul-13 18:19:11

He's 10. Surely old enough to understand rules and that by not drinking water HE is causing the headaches.
Schools have rules for a reason, not just to piss off parents.

His attendace before he went on preventative meds was an issue, because he was constantly missing school. School moaned about that.

I have done everything I can to ensure that ds has what he needs at school to mean that if a migraine occurs, it doesn't impact on his day, and he can stay in school. School have battled with me all the way, including making him wait over half an hour to recieve calpol.

There is absolutly no point in me saying can someone please prompt him to drink. They don't help remind him about punctuation and capital letters, so they won't remind him to drink.

How headbangingly frustrating. I don't know what more to say sad

BalloonSlayer Thu 04-Jul-13 18:27:34

Well I agree that 10 is old enough to know better but sometimes they don't.

My DD is 11! She only drinks squash or milk (or milkshake or hot chocolate) and I have tried and tried to get her to drink water and she'll take a bottle but it will come home as full as it left. She says she tries to drink it but doesn't like the taste. hmm No matter how often I insist that water doesn't taste of anything, she says it does. hmm x 1000

So we are back to the juice. At one point we were asked by a HP to ask the school if she could drink more during the day and have squash in a non see-through bottle instead of water and the school said, yep, absolutely fine.

(Although my severely milk-allergic DS was not allowed squash or rice milk at pre-school. They said that they had to offer a choice of milk or water only and as he couldn't have milk he would have to have water. So he never had a drink either as he also wouldn't drink water. You can imagine how I raged when the year after he left they let a child who only had an intolerance bring in soya milk. I was really upset.)

AvonCallingBarksdale Thu 04-Jul-13 18:28:18

OP, sounds as though you don't have much faith in the school. Presumably he's at least year 5, maybe year 6. Either way he won't be there much longer. I think, presuming there are no other issues, that you can just tell him simply that he needs to drink the water in an attempt to avoid the horrible migraines that he's been having. Really big him up in a "you're such a grown up/mature/bright boy that I know you'll understand you need to have water, which is better for you than squash."

spanieleyes Thu 04-Jul-13 18:29:30

IS this at lunchtime or during the day?
If they are insisting on water with a packed lunch, I think this is unreasonable, fruit juice or squash should be acceptable with a lunch.
But if you want your child to sip squash during the day I think you are being unreasonable. Have you seen the mess children can make with water bottles during the day? Imagine 30 squash bottles around the classroom, flies and wasps everywhere! And sorry but if one child is allowed squash because " he doesn't like water" then every child will want the same. Dozens of parents will be queuing up at the door to say that their child MUST drink squash rather than water because they suffer from headaches/dehydration/cystitis/bladder problems etc. There is NO medical reason why your child needs squash, he needs liquids which is what the school are providing. At 10 he should realise the consequences of his decisions.

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Thu 04-Jul-13 18:29:32

Squash isn't rat poison, no, but if it spills desks get very sticky and books are ruined. Squash is therefore a total pain in the backside to have in the classroom.

Thank you Balloonslayer. Yes my ds is ten, but he is a young ten, and also has some 'issues' with learning. To him, it is a black and white issue. He doesn't liek water, but he likes squash, so he'll drink squash.

I think at 10 he is old enough that not having a migraine is incentive enough to get him to drink plain water.

I suffer from migraines myself and currently rattle with medication which I have to take on a daily basis. I knew, when I was at school, that I had to drink water - and lots of it - at lunch time in primary school, which I left in 1993. We were only allowed to drink - any drink - at lunchtime.

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