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A rant about child protection policies...

(46 Posts)
Roseylea Tue 19-Jun-07 16:15:10

and my dd with severe excema (nearly 5 y o). The teachers in her school will not put cream on her as it is classed as 'inappropriate touching'.

So I got a phone call at work today saying that she wouldn't stop scratching and her tummy was all bleeding, and every time she stood up or sat down her botttom hurted like mad. She is hating being creamed atm, and runs away screaming when she sees me with a cream pot in my hand at home.

The 'arrangement' for dd is that she goe to the medical room, unsupervised, and creams herself just before lunchtime at school. But really, she is only still little, and something she hates at home...she's hardly going to cream herself at school, is she?

Which left me saying to the teacher on the phone that short of me leaving work for the day and going into the school to cream her myself, there's nothing that can be done for her. And if I had to do that every day I'd have to give up work.

How utterly crap, eh?

If she had any other medical condition I am sure that provision would be made for it...why is it that excema is not tken seriously? Why is it that the chlid protection policy is the very thing that stops my dd from being looked after?

Don't even get me started on suncream, severe excema and child protection policies...

Roseylea Tue 19-Jun-07 17:04:43

bump...does anyone know if this is the same in all schools? Is it worth looking into other local schools to see if any of them would be able to cream her in school time? Anyone else had any similar problems and how did you sort them out?

edam Tue 19-Jun-07 17:11:05

Can't answer your questions but can sympathise, what a mad policy. Must be infuriating.

fizzbuzz Tue 19-Jun-07 17:12:48

Hmm, I am a teacher, and I think though, am not 100% sure, that if there was another member of staff in the room when the teachers put cream on then it may be OK

I agree it is political correctness gone mad, but it is also to protect teachers from being accused of innappropriate touching.

We have kids with diabetes etc, but we are not allowed to give any medicine, and the MO in the medical room is not allowed to give paraceatamol even though it is a secondary school

Quattrocento Tue 19-Jun-07 17:12:49

There must be a better resolution than this! Why can't you persuade the teachers to cream her? You must be able to sign some sort of waiver, backed up with a note from the doctor. Surely?

Anchovy Tue 19-Jun-07 17:13:37

I think this is unacceptable TBH. Can't you sign a waiver or similar, basically accepting that they will touch her for these purposes.

FWIW DS is in Reception and the teaching staff do put on sunscreen in his school. I can't quite remember but I think we may have signed something at the beginning of the year agreeing with their basic procedures - that they would always clean surface wounds, and put on savlon and a plaster and that they would put on sunscreen - we put a named tube in DS's book bag.

Roseylea Tue 19-Jun-07 17:18:47

No, I've done the note from the doctor, and offered to sign a waiver but the teachers said that there is no way they can cream her.

Her excema really is bad; it affects her sleep, her eating, her glands are raised a lot of the time - and it's showing no signs of improvement. She's just getting over chickenpox, which made it worse, but tbh anything and everything can set it off.

I had no idea that this would even be an issue when we were choosing schools for her.

reikizen Tue 19-Jun-07 17:20:22

I think you should take it to the governing body after speaking to the class teacher. Find out who the parent governors are and ask them to raise it, it sounds as if the policy needs amending. Perhaps as fizzbuzz says suggest that a second member of staff is present.

bookwormmum Tue 19-Jun-07 17:20:23

My dd's school won't apply sunscream (we have to make sure they have it on before they go in) and the children have to put their own plasters on - the school will provide them after cleaning up wounds but won't put them on.

Whizzz Tue 19-Jun-07 17:22:42

Interesting to hear what is the school policy with first aid then? If a child had a graze, would they not clean the wound ?
Would it make a difference if the cream was applied to a pad & then applied to your DD (to save the 'hands on' bit??) OR a willing teacher(s) goes with her to 'encourage' her to apply the cream herself ?? There must be a solution as its also wrong to let her suffer like this

Ladymuck Tue 19-Jun-07 17:26:00

Oh dear, that doesn't soudn helpful at all does it. Have to say that I have no idea what our school cpp looks like but they do apply sunscream in the early days, and you can send in medication which they will give if you write a latter of authorisation.

REally common sense should override strcit policies. If she has to strip to apply the cream then putting it on in a public place probably is ruled out, but it shouldn't be impossible to find a second person to be present.

bookwormmum Tue 19-Jun-07 17:27:14

Is there a school nurse who could apply it? They must have to help children change who have accidents in school, so I don't see why they can't help a little one. I wouldn't be happy with my dd being let loose with ezcema cream by herself - I've had some of that! None of it goes where it's supposed to.

NKF Tue 19-Jun-07 17:37:39

To be honest - it does sound to me as if you are need something quite difficult for them to do. Full over body cream every day on a child who hates the sight of the pot of cream - it's quite a lot to ask someone to do, even if there weren't child protection issues being cited.

Can't you explore the district nurse/school nurse/health visitor route? Ask the school if they have suggestions or speak to your doctor. Or shamelessly bribe your daughter to apply the cream herself? I really feel for you. Eczema is a horrible thing.

cornsilk Tue 19-Jun-07 17:39:46

I think that schools have 'named' members of staff who are allowed to administer medicines and change children. Have you asked the school nurse about it?

Roseylea Tue 19-Jun-07 17:46:18

It's all a bit crap really IMO...

Bookwormmum, no, there's not a school nurse. In my town there's a school nurse assigned to each primary school but she only visits once every couple of months. I have had long phone calls with her re. this problem and she sees no solution.

Reikizen, I'm not sure how willing the school bodies will be to accommodate this excema problem. The early years team (foundation and reception and Year 1) all met with me together and told me there's no way they could apply cream, and they couldn't spare the staff for 2 staff members to go off to a loo or some other private place with dd. They said that they couldn't leave the rest of the class unattended. It was a definite no. Would I just be banging my head aganist a brick wall to go to the governors? I don't want to make enemies of dd's teachers.

I was annoyed today because when I picked dd up (I finish work at 2.30 pm) the teacher said that she'd been constantly srcatching from lunchtime until pick-up time. I'd said on the phone that if dd wasn't able to stop scratching, the teachers should phone me back at work and I'd come and cream her at school or take her home early. But they didn't!

It made me so sad to think of her in agony, and unable to stop herself from scratching. It made me feel like a lousy mum. I gave her a bath as soon as she got in - she was covered in blood. I have creamed her twice since then and it's a bit better - she's not scratching as much now.

NKF Tue 19-Jun-07 17:49:07

Would they let someone else other than you to go in and do it? Would your daughter allow another adult to do it?

Roseylea Tue 19-Jun-07 17:49:55

NFK we do bribe her! It's just not working atm..but I do take your point about it being a big ask. The school nurses / HVs aren't any good round here re. excema.

It's a real dilemma...

NKF Tue 19-Jun-07 17:51:55

Is there a charity/organisation that handles exzema? It can't be a unique problem and perhaps they'd have some advice.

Roseylea Tue 19-Jun-07 17:55:16

NFK, yes they wold allow someone else but again, it's a big ask, and we don't have any family who would be available to go in to the school and all my good friends either work or don't live close enough.

I've tried contacting the National Excema Society a while ago - I left a message but I've not heard back.

We are going to see the consultant next week so while we're there I might ask the excema nurse her opinion - she's v. clued up. If there's an answer, she'll know it!

Jacanne Tue 19-Jun-07 18:11:13

We had a little boy with severe SEN who wasn't toilet trained. We had a shower and changing station installed for him and his LSA used to change him and shower him when he got very poo-ey. There should definitely be a way around this problem - is it worth speaking to the LEA about it?

Roseylea Tue 19-Jun-07 18:13:42

Jacanne, who in the LEA would I need to talk to? Dd hasn't got SEN as such, but def. physical needs that are not being met.

Jacanne Tue 19-Jun-07 18:27:50

I'm not entirely sure - I had a look at the LEA for where I live and it says this about making a complaint about a school; there is a number you can call - you may not necessarily want to make a complaint but they could give you some advice on the legal issues. So it might be worth looking up your County Council online and finding out the relevant number. Another suggestion could be writing to the governing body.

Wisteria Tue 19-Jun-07 18:30:02

Your poor daughter, I hope she grows out of it. Have you tried going to a Chinese Dr for herbal remedies? it worked very well for one of my friends.
I agree with you that it's ridiculous in that IMO your child's basic needs are not being met but I don't think it's a problem with that school in particular - there was an article in the paper some time ago about a school who got a parent to come away from an important business meeting to put a plaster on her child; by the time she got there it had stopped bleeding.... the reason given was that she might be allergic to the sticky bit! Surely the point of all the copious forms you have to fill in when they start school and for years afterwards, including every time they are away from school premises is that the teachers are already aware of any allergies - just another example of the ridiculous nanny state we've become; my daughter was put in the naughty book recently for running in the playground FFS!!!

edam Tue 19-Jun-07 18:35:05

I think you should hassle the National Eczema Society for some support on this, and ask your GP/consultant if there is an eczema nurse who would come and speak to the school. Ridiculous to put your poor dd through this. They are inflicting pain on the poor child, fgs.

Might also be worth asking the LEA for a copy of the relevant child protection policy so you can read it and see if they are interpreting it correctly or being over-cautious. Maybe approach whoever is the designated member of staff for CP and suggest a bit of creative thinking to find a solution?

edam Tue 19-Jun-07 18:35:33

I suspect they are using CP as an excuse because they don't want to deal with dd objecting to the cream, tbh.

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