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Son has spiral fracture, full leg plaster cast

(20 Posts)
matthew2002smum Tue 27-Sep-11 00:47:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hanaka88 Tue 27-Sep-11 05:43:33

Mine do. They need to do the child a risk assessment, they are brought in and picked up through main reception and have to stay in at play times but are fine to come to school

pinkgirlythoughts Tue 27-Sep-11 09:09:58

When my sister had to have a full leg in plaster, the school were reluctant to have her in for health and safety reasons, but it was her first few weeks in junior school, so my parents didn't want her to miss out. They compromised with the school by my dad taking her in for mornings only, and sitting with her, acting as a 1:1 assistant for toileting, playtime etc. She then went home at lunchtime so dad could go to work.

feetheart Tue 27-Sep-11 09:20:30

No help with school as DS was 3 when he had the same thing. You have my sympathies.
Pre-school were brilliant at the time (and when he had his wrist in plaster the next year shock)

Have you got one of these yet? Worth their weight in gold.

Good luck and make sure you look after you too, the emotional and physical strain was harder than I expected.

AgonyBeetle Tue 27-Sep-11 09:22:45

Hmm, there's no official guidance on this, in my (considerable) experience as the parent of a highly accident-prone child with four separate episodes of plaster casting. DDA doesn't apply as it's a temporary condition.

The first time it happened (arm in plaster, on this occasion) I was initially told we'd need me to come in and provide one-to-one care for her, thus effectively making it impossible for me to work for 6 weeks. hmm I phoned the EWO to discuss it, since I felt I'd have had no choice but to take her out of school for the duration and send her to my MIL. The EWO did not like this plan at all, and had a quiet word with the school, whereupon they suddenly found that it was fine as long as she stayed indoors at playtime. The neighbouring school where the ACS is held had no problem with her being there at all, and were quite happy to let her race down the hill on a scooter using only one hand to steer. Double hmm. So both extremes of attitude are possible, even within the same LEA.

Legs in plaster is more tricky I think, as it's a mobility issue. If the school has lots of stairs and narrow corridors, then I can see the logistics might be too complicated. If it's all one one level and more open-plan, I think it's more likely to be down to the head, and it will depend on their attitude towards H&S generally. I don't think you can expect them to provide him with fulltime one-to-one teaching or care, but you could discuss him being in a normal class as long as you're happy to accept there are risks involved with him being in the envieonment of other boisterous kids, pushing and shoving, etc.

Discuss it with the school and see what their attitude is, and take it from there.

howtocalmachild Tue 27-Sep-11 10:53:02

It's a shame we make it difficult here in the UK. Overseas I was paid at short notice to work as an assistant to basically wheel around a little girl who had broken her leg. Ensure she was supported when needed (personal care) etc. To be honest it wasn't a great experience for her so I hope that I eased the 6 weeks for her. I'd say it was still the best possible outcome though given the circumstances. She still went outside to play - we made up games she could play and encouraged the other children to include her without making it obvious. She was a lovely girl smile

Michaelahpurple Tue 27-Sep-11 22:52:23

At our school children have to stay home until cast is off, which his a bit of a killer, but is a tall town house. Would be a totaly disaster (she says helpfully), especially seeing more than half a term's fees written off. Of course, I could tick the box for the £40 a term insurance, but so far haven't. Hmm. Perhaps a rethink is in order...

lots of luck and sympathy

JellyBelly10 Wed 28-Sep-11 09:31:15

My son has Perthes disease and had a femoral osteotomy operation this January (he's 6). In total he spent almost 4 months in full hip to ankle plaster casts (both legs) with a metal bar separating the legs so they could not be moved at all. Obviously he was in a wheelchair! The school were brilliant, allowed him back as soon as we felt he was ready (which was about 3 weeks after the op) and they just made sure they had enough TA cover to take into account the fact he would need helping to the toilet and using his wee bottle and (if the need arose!) being lifted onto the toilet to do a poo! They added blocks onto the bottom of a table to raise it so he could sit at it and do his work like everyone else. So persinally I think that if one school can do it, any school should be able to provided they are physically able to accomodate a 'disabled' child. Our school is a 60s built school and is all on one level so there was no problem of stairs to consider. If the school do not allow your child to come back then the Local Authority will ahve to provide you witha home tutor. Ours provided us with one for the first three weeks after the op, she only came to our house for 5 hours a week mind you, but it gave some structure to the wek and meant he wasn't totally missing out.

acebaby Wed 28-Sep-11 10:33:01

When my DS1 had a full plaster cast on (age 5 in year 1), he went to school as normal with a walking frame from the hospital.

He joined another class when his were doing PE. He managed the loo himself. I taught him how to get himself up and down stairs on his bum and sent in DS2's buggy for longer distances (he is small for his age). The school allocated him a buddy for play times, and he went out with all the others but was allowed to bring lego or a book. He was given a little head start getting between class rooms and to lunch.

The only really difficult thing was getting safely across the car park with 2yo DS2 (who was a bolter), but other Mums and teachers helped out and I used the disabled parking space.

I really don't see any insurmountable health and safety problems with a child in a full leg plaster cast. in any reasonable sized primary school there is likely to be a at least one or two children in plaster a year, so the school should have a policy that does not involve healthy children being signed off school for months at a time.

Good luck smile

mrz Wed 28-Sep-11 19:41:21

Your LEA with have a Hospital and Home Education Service separate from the school for children who are unable to attend school

jenniec79 Thu 29-Sep-11 17:02:19

I tell parents in fracture clinic their child can go back to school asap. Once they're comfy enough to concentrate. Not PE of course!

In the children's hospitals there are teachers on the wards and schools are encouraged to send work in so that the child doesn't fall behind, so back to lessons asap is what we expect - there's only so much damage you can do once it's already in a cast, and if your DC is in a plaster then you will have the plaster room contacts on some of the clinic paperwork if they damage it!

If school are being awkward then might it be worth asking them to discuss with your child's orthopaedic team?

mrz Thu 29-Sep-11 17:41:03

jenniec79 how do they get around school - steps? crowded classrooms? busy corridors?
How do they manage the loo if they are in a cast?
How do they sit at a small table in a crowded classroom?

jenniec79 Thu 29-Sep-11 18:52:36

mrz - if primary, most are in one classroom - I do ask about logistics wink

It's always going to be down to the teacher to deal with crowds, give a bit of leeway in terms of getting from one room to another etc, maybe letting the child into eg lunch first etc. I've never heard of them being unable to use the usual furniature so can't be that common an issue, but do often tell then to keep the foot up on a spare chair or similar. The child had to know what to do with it too though - ie report problems/spillages on cast to a teacher asap, keep hand elevated (and fidget fingers/toes grin)

As far as mobility/toilets etc goes, same as an adult in a cast or child in a cast at home. Everyone comes up with a method that suits them, but they do manage in long leg casts. Kids tend to cope far better in plaster than adults, too, and take to crutch/frame walking much more quickly than you or I would! Most of them amaze me in clinic tbh!

Even kids in fixation frames can be at school with pretty minimal adjustments once it stops being so sore at the beginning. The plaster spica - trousersy things that were mentionned above would be a different matter, but much more rarely used in non-SN environments for older children.

acebaby Thu 29-Sep-11 18:56:40

mrz - some children can become (frighteningly!) independent with their limbs in plaster. Certainly my DS1 managed with no problem a week in, with a few small concessions. He was able to sit at a normal year 1 small table, get himself up and down stairs and between classrooms and use the loo. The other boys were very considerate in the crowded corridors and his teachers kept an eye on him for the first week or two.

When a boy in reception had a more serious problem (both limbs in plaster and a wheelchair), the teachers rearranged the classroom and brought in a higher table for him and his nominated buddy to sit at. The hospital OT department helped him to become independent for almost all of his personal needs.

I do think that whether children can return to school in plaster depends to a large degree on the attitude of the school. Most schools seem to be like DS1's (very positive and helpful), but some of the children at the fracture clinic, whose injuries were no more serious, were stuck at home for weeks because their schools wouldn't have them back sad

mrz Thu 29-Sep-11 19:15:04

jenniec79 Thu 29-Sep-11 18:52:36

mrz - if primary, most are in one classroom but then there is assembly and the computer suite and the toilet and the dining hall... It really depends on the extent of the mobility and independence the child has

jenniec79 Thu 29-Sep-11 19:49:56

MRZ - I agree entirely that every child/environment is different which is why a blanket ban like the OP's mentionned is unreasonable.

I would say that missing assembly is probably a lot less important than missing the whole day (socially and educationally) though.

One patient this week told me she had been issued with a laptop from school when she broke her wrist (I was a bit shock at that, but a good idea - even though it wasn't her writing hand she broke grin) but it's going to depend on what facilities each school has. I was given photos a while back of another on a high wire type activity course she'd been on in a frame (she was about 10 IIRC) and it was great she didn't miss out on that (even if she didn't (obviously) do all the activities!) Most people will manage to get to the loo even in plaster.

6-8 weeks of being effectively excluded for an injury surely can't be a reasonable start point though.

mrz Thu 29-Sep-11 19:54:46

I would have thought a full leg cast would be an obstacle initially and access to school would have to be carefully assessed before a decision could be made.

matthew2002smum Sun 02-Oct-11 23:02:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

matthew2002smum Sun 02-Oct-11 23:07:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

feetheart Thu 06-Oct-11 14:23:03

Been pre-occupied with school fair so only just caught up here.

Have you got him back in? I hope so.
I too was shocked at the physical and emotional strain the broken leg placed on us, and me in particular. Make sure you get some time just for you - I had to start running to get some time to myself and I thought I hated running!
It does get easier as they are in less pain and get more mobile.

DS (who was 3.6 at the time) wasn't that mobile in the full-leg cast - he had a zimmer frame which helped but he found it much easier to 'sliver like a snake' smile Fine for home and pre-school but not so good for primary.
He was able to weight-bear after about 2 weeks so things like going to the toilet etc got easier.
Once he was in the half-leg cast there was no stopping him - walking (we got him a pair of velcro canvas shoes so he could wear one over the cast), running, scootering, etc, etc, etc. Only thing he couldn't do was ride his bike as he couldn't bend his knee far enough, he did try though shock
However, when he got the cast taken off he went backwards for a while - wouldn't walk, put weight on it, etc. Took him to a festival the day after and he soon got bored just sitting in the pushchair. He did get tired/achy for a while afterwards but within 3-4 weeks you would never have known that he had been in plaster for 8 weeks.

Hope it is going OK and feel free to PM me if you want a chat/bit of support from one who has been there.

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