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AIBU to feel pretty annoyed that school wouldn't treat wasp sting

(99 Posts)
FruitString Tue 11-Nov-14 16:17:41

My 8 yr old DS got stung by a wasp at school today. He was in a lot of pain, and practically screamed the school down. Eventually the school phoned me and asked me to take him home as he was in such distress. I rushed in, armed with a tube of Anthisan. When I explained to my DS what the Anthisan was, and had applied it to his pretty swollen hand, he managed to ask (between howls) "Why doesn't the school have any of that?" I assumed that they would have given him something, maybe WaspEze or similar. But no. They did give him some kind of mild cooling spray (which I think is meant for itchy insect bites - and in fact made it much worse, apparently) but they are "not allowed" to use anything specifically for wasp stings, in case a child is allergic to antihistamine cream. AIBU to find this utterly ridiculous? I never heard of anyone being allergic to antihistamine cream (pills yes but not cream), and anyway all they had to do was glance in his records to see that he's not allergic to anything. I want to express my annoyance about this policy to the head but need to know where I stand. Anyone else know anything about school policies on treating wasp stings or similar? Does it vary from school to school? Is it a government thing? Surely it's basic first aid? By the way I DO totally understand them not wanting to issue oral medication, eg. Calpol - obviously that could be a very bad idea. But refusing to topically treat a wasp sting when someone is clearly in a huge amount of pain (especially someone like my son who is an HSP and whose nervous system means he does suffer pain even more than others unfortunately - I wasn't going to mention that, as it's a whole other story, but still..) it strikes me as positively inhumane! But... maybe IABU?

DayLillie Tue 11-Nov-14 16:19:09

cold pack?

Do they have a first aider hmm

ApocalypseThen Tue 11-Nov-14 16:23:29

I don't know about the UK, but in Ireland we were not insured to use anything other than water, that extended to applying plasters to cuts. Now this was years ago, but knowing how litigious people are, and how risk averse insurance companies are, I'd be massively surprised if things have relaxed.

googoodolly Tue 11-Nov-14 16:26:23

It doesn't sound good. I remember being stung by a bee in primary (early nineties) and being given cream for it, but it was private school so I'm not sure if the rules are more relaxed there.

I would definitely be querying why they didn't just ring you and ask if they could use cream

googoodolly Tue 11-Nov-14 16:27:19

It would make a lot more sense if they'd just rung you and asked if they could use cream - a wasp sting is not a reason to call a parent out to school unless the child is having an allergic reaction.

Phoenixfrights Tue 11-Nov-14 16:27:45

I think you are being a little bit precious. it was a wasp sting, not a broken arm, and he isn't allergic to wasp stings, right? To be frank I don't blame them for not using topical medications, because they are still medications and are absorbed through the skin.

googoodolly Tue 11-Nov-14 16:27:52

Sorry, MN played up and told me my first post hadn't posted hmm lol

teeththief Tue 11-Nov-14 16:28:12

I'm a TA and we wouldnt be allowed to put anything other than an ice pack on it. We're also not allowed to 'interfere with foreign bodies' so not allowed to remove splinters, wasp/bee stinger, something from a child's eye (eg eyelash). As a TA and parents I find it hard NOT to intervene but I could be in trouble if I did sad

PeterParkerSays Tue 11-Nov-14 16:30:47

First aiders aren't allowed to put cream on injuries - it counts as prescribing in the same way as giving a paracetamol does.

They could have used an ice pack or ran the stung area under a tap though.

PrettyLittleMitty Tue 11-Nov-14 16:33:12

Couldn't they have just called you and asked of they could apply the cream? Seems ott to call a parent to collect a child over a simple wasp sting?

Permanentlyexhausted Tue 11-Nov-14 16:33:27

I'm first aid trained as I run a Brownie unit. I wouldn't give any medication without specific permission being granted. That is, if I take them away on a trip/residential where I'm more likely to need to administer medication, I supply a list of exactly what medication I have and parents have to say yes or no to each thing. That includes anything given orally, any sort of cream applied, and even includes plasters and micropore tape.

Sirzy Tue 11-Nov-14 16:34:41

I was given some 'wasp eaze' to put on a sting at school. For some reason I reacted badly to it and that was what caused me to end up needing hospital treatment for a reaction. Until that point we didn't know I was allergic to it.

I can fully understand the NO medicines/creams etc policy unless it is something pescribed to the child

CrohnicallyAnxious Tue 11-Nov-14 16:35:31

Sorry, but our first aid kits aren't allowed to contain any sort of creams or sprays.

If I was the first aider, first I'd try cooling it down (eg water or cool pack) as sometimes that can relieve an itch or mild pain, and sometimes there's a bit of placebo effect with children! If that didn't work, I'd phone mum as a) we don't have wasp sting cream in school and b) we wouldn't be allowed to apply it anyway without something in writing from you.

I'm not sure what HSP is in this context, but if it means he needs to be treated differently to the other children you need to arrange for a care pla to be put in place and evidence from the doctor to support that. So you say your son suffers more pain than others it might be relevant for you to buy some over the counter medicines, sign a disclaimer and give verbal permission to be applied in each case.

But YABU to expect the school to do anything else in this instance!

ApocalypseThen Tue 11-Nov-14 16:36:56

I don't know whether I'd rely on verbal consent in case a reaction happened and the school was sued.

CrohnicallyAnxious Tue 11-Nov-14 16:37:10

sirzy's comment illustrates exactly why we have to be so careful!

OddBoots Tue 11-Nov-14 16:39:25

I'd re-done my Ofsted approved first aid recently and it's very clear that we can't use any 'lotions or potions' - none at all.

stealthsquiggle Tue 11-Nov-14 16:40:02

My DC's school sends out a form with a list of non-prescription medicines (basically the things that you would have at home) and you have to give/deny permission for them to administer them to your child as needed.

I don't know whether the fact that they have a medically qualified resource (matron) on site affects their insurance on this, but it seems a sensible approach to me - matron has a file in her office, anyone needing any sort of treatment gets sent to her, she has a page per child in a folder, looks them up and treats accordingly. The same form also contains contact information so that she can immediately make a call if needed.

MsMarvel Tue 11-Nov-14 16:41:38

And who is paying for this antihistime cream that you think the school should be providing? Our school has a system where you Can leave medication with the school nurse that is personally yours, with a signed permission slip to authorise them to dispense it to the child.

kellyandthecat Tue 11-Nov-14 16:42:07

It sounds unreasonable to call you in for that but also it sounds like your DS was quite distressed. Maybe you could ask the head if there's a way to avoid this in the future (like sending cream in with your DS) rather than confronting the head

Sidge Tue 11-Nov-14 16:42:45

Topical creams are still medications. They just happen to be absorbed through the skin rather than the gut.

So no, schools have no obligation to apply anything except cold water to skin. If a child needs anything more than TLC and a bit of cold paper then the parent is the one to do it, not the school staff.

(Oh and topical anthistamines have a limited efficacy so you're often better off giving an oral anthistamine such as cetirizine - Zirtek - or chlorpheniramine - Piriton).

DoJo Tue 11-Nov-14 16:43:02

All medication has the chance to induce side-effects or interact with other medications, and for something like a wasp sting which isn't dangerous unless a child is allergic I can't see why the school would risk making it worse by using anything other than a cool pack. Wasp-eze can induce blood problems and skin rashes, which are probably both worse long-term than an untreated sting. unfortunately, schools are simply not able to ensure that what they might do won't have more disastrous results than the initial injury would have caused.

PurpleSwift Tue 11-Nov-14 16:44:13

While I can understand it must have been hard for to arrive at the school and your son be in pain, it is just a wasp sting. Teachers are not allowed to apply anything. Even if he has no known allergies, it doesn't mean he won't react badly to it. This is pretty much how it works throughout England.

hiccupgirl Tue 11-Nov-14 17:03:43

I got stung by a wasp 30 years ago at school. Even then all the school could do was put a ice pack on it. Yes it was very painful and I remember not being able to write properly that afternoon as it was on my right hand but it was hardly life or death.

Schools are not allowed to put anything on or give anything unless you have written a letter giving permission for specific medicines.

AttitcusFinchIsMyFather Tue 11-Nov-14 17:05:53

How do you know he "screamed the school down" if you were not there? If he is in that amount of pain, surely he needs to be seen by a medic?

grocklebox Tue 11-Nov-14 17:09:03

My DS is allergic to at least one type of anti-histamine cream. It does happen you know.

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