Reception child missing 4-6 weeks of school(30 Posts)
We found out today that the sprained ankle that has taken over a week to heal is, in fact, a fracture . Ds's leg is in a full plaster cast and he is likely to be off for 4-6 weeks.
I am worried, not so much about the academic side (though he is already a summer-born boy, so it is a slight concern), but more about the social side. He is pretty quiet and shy and just starting to 'come out of his shell' as the teacher puts it, though at recent parties we have been to his interaction with his peers has been minimal.
He does enjoy school and, in fact, the injury occurred at play-time during a 'spinning game', so I don't think he's completely friendless, but he can't really afford to be out of action for all this time, either. We are relatively new to the area so, while we will do as much as we can to get some friends round while he's off, it's not going to be a case of people coming round regularly.
I am just feeling a bit anxious about it and would like to hear from others who have had similar happen, or from teachers, that this is not going to affect him long-term.
When do children go to school with a plaster cast and when do they not?
Has a doctor actually said he needs to be entirely off school? This seems surprising to me. Surely the school can accommodate his needs even if he needs to be on crutches or in a chair for that length of time?
I have a boy the same age and he would be climbing the walls with screaming frustration within a week if he was just being kept at home all day - there must surely be an alternative??
DD had both feet in casts for six weeks following foot surgery in reception year.
She was able to weight bare, the hospital were rubbish, just sent her home, but we got a GP referral to the local hospital pead. Physio dept, and she got a walking frame. She went into school after a week iirc, but only part time because she was so shattered, we were up in the night every night topping up pain relief. In the week she was off we had mates over, but we had to keep visits really short because she was so tired. She started doing a couple of hours and built up to half days.
She did okay socially, because they all wanted to look after her, her teacher was great and very sympathetic to her.
The way she took it all in her stride and did whatever she could was frankly inspirational, I was in awe of my little girl.
She missed most of Xmas to fen half term, she was behind academically when she returned, but was on target by the summer, she made most of the years progress in the last half term.
Assuming it is a femur fracture if full cast? DD had the same, but was only 3 so missed pre-school rather than school. However, my recollection is that although it was very hard to keep her amused (and she watched far too much tv) while the cast was on, she slotted back into pre-school without really a problem. We did take her for a couple of visits (in wheelchair) but tbh this was more awkward than useful as DD wanted to play and couldn't really). One thing to note is that it took a good 6 months for her mobility to return to that of pre-accident, so there were times when her friends were e.g. playing running games and she just couldn't keep up.
(if not a femur this may not be true!)
To those asking above, if the same as for DD, the OP's DS won't be able to move at all other than pulling himself on the ground, the cast is very heavy and the leg totally rigid- crutches are no good. He also won't be able to do things like use the toilet independently. Chances are the school won't be able to cope with lifting him either.
OP said it was originally diagnosed as a sprained ankle, so I don't think it's a femur.
I'm surprised he has to be off for six weeks. Is that what the hospital advised?
Yes, the hospital advised being off for that length of time. Tbh, I'm not sure which bone is actually broken as I didn't think to ask, but am pretty sure the nurse said, 'tib' to a student as they were putting the cast on .
He can't bear any weight on it and the hospital said they don't give crutches to this age (4) and I'm sure he wouldn't cope with them anyway. Atm, we have to carry him everywhere and, yes, toiletting is very tricky - I don't see how school would manage.
I understand that when he gets used to it he may start crawling or shuffling around, but, tbh, not sure how safe that would be in a reception classroom. Hospital also said that they sometimes give frames to children to help them back into school, but that doesn't seem to be a certainty and, to me, sounds like something that may be hard for school to manage.
We are dreading the next few weeks, despite being fortunate in that dh is a sahp.
I am surprised about 6 weeks off too, normally bones heal very quickly at this age (DD2 broke her collar bone and it healed nicely in 2 weeks). I can't see any reason to be off school for a full leg cast. I know in one of my daughter's classes there is a little boy with major leg problems but it doesn't seem to stop him being accommodated in the classroom. I think if I was you I would check what the medical reason is for him needing to be off all this time, provision of a walking frame, will the cast be changed to a lightweight one in a week or so which is what seems to happen a lot nowadays etc speak to the school and see if they can accommodate him in the classroom so a chair, another chair to put his leg up on? even if it is only for a couple of hours a day with you in tow to help look after him and find out if he can only manage a short day then which bit of the day is the most sociable time, might be choosing time. don't worry about missing phonics or anything as you can do those with him at home, like you say the social aspect and joining in is more important in the circumstances.
Hospital said that to us about crutches, but the didn't speak to the physio team and the frame was great.
I would try to get him in to school as he/you may lose his school place if he off that long and you don't want to have to try and find a new place for him.
Could he go in for short periods with dh? Just an hour here and there? Dh can deal with carrying/toileting and Ds can get a bit of time at school.
He will not lose his school place if he is off for a medical reason! Please don't worry about that.
Could he attend school in a wheel chair? W have had children with breaks attend in chairs before-they put lights and things on the spokes of the wheels and all the other children love it! This could be a way of getting him more socialised
Have you asked his reception teacher for ideas. They may suggest he comes in for specific sessions in order to keep in touch with the class or could organise Skype or something-we have one this to a hospital bed before. They could practise their writing by sending him cards etc. you may find they are more focused on you DS than ever before. Go and speak to the school-I am sure they will have some workable suggestions, particularly if they know of your concerns.
'Tib' would be tibia, one of the two long bones.
My DD broke hers aged 3 and was in a full leg cast over the summer holidays. Obviously being at school/nursery was less of an issue at her age, but nursery would have taken her with the cast. To be fair we didn't send her as she didn't do that many sessions anyway.
I would reassure you that within a couple of weeks she was up and moving on the cast in a way I wouldn't have believed possible. We checked with the hospital and in her case they were fine with her moving around on it however she could. Children are very very inventive whether they are given crutches or not
Therefore I think Id keep in touch with school, see how he goes and keep an open mind. It might well be, for instance, that he could go in a wheelchair but be able to hop himself out of it to sit at a table, use the loo etc. if your DH has no other kids to worry about he could perhaps go along as an enabler too.
Good luck with it. We couldn't imagine DD doing anything for 6 weeks but ended up taking our planned holiday to Europe - probably in retrospect a bit mad, but she coped and loved it! So you may well find your DS surprises you!
PS has somebody mentioned Limbos to you? Bloody brilliant cast covers in which he can shower, bath, even swim.
Niece was off school for 8 weeks in reception with broken leg. They sent work home for her and she had good fun bum shuffling, riding in baby buggy etc. Doesn't seem to have done her any harm as she is now in year 2 and a very bright and academic girl.
I don't see why he's told to be off school either. Dd's year they had a little girl who got multiple fractures to her leg and hip after a cupboard fell on her. She was off school for a fortnight, but after that came in her wheelchair for the next few months while it healed. She had one of those huge wheel chairs that her foot stuck out in front too. She then had a walking frame for quite a time after that.
I would go and ask the school when (not if) they're happy for him to come back. I would be surprised if they didn't say as soon as he wants to.
If DH is a SAHP could he talk to the head and suggest that he takes DS into the classroom for maybe just an hour each day (staying there with him as your DS's personal carer and ensuring his physical needs are sorted). As you said in your OP it's more about the social side at this stage and a short daily attendance will help keep him firmly in the friendship groups and will just mean that DH isn't stuck in the house with him the whole time.
If the hospital haven't given you a wheelchair, contact your local red cross, they often have wheelchairs they are able to lend out (and will lend them out even for non-medical reasons, we used to borrow them for amateur dramatics on a regular basis so you don't even need to have a medical referral for it)
A girl at dds school broke her ankle. She had a push chair and went to school. Surely he could do that he won't have to do pe
A child at DCs school had a terrible break and came in to school in a wheelchair half days and then had a zimmer frame.
It might be worth exploring options.
a couple of years ago My son was hit by a car resulting in a compound fracture of tib and Fib. He was off school whilst he has external fixings holding it all in place (about 3 weeks) but returned to school once he had a cast even though he was still wheelchair bound and not weight bearing. School asked if I could be present as his aide (not possible I had a new baby) Then arranged an aide to push him around take him to he loo and everything.
I missed months of school when I was little, particularly reception class, due to having 13 operations on my legs. It didn't do me any harm, I fitted in fine once all the surgery was finished.
I had a hard time in reception understanding some of the social norms, like I didn't know why I couldn't talk in class and the teacher sent me to the corner (where I carried on talking as I really didn't have a clue what was going on!), which was obviously a very upsetting experience as I still remember it now, but other than that I fitted in well, had a fantastic time at primary school and a great social life.
When they are so little they pretty much cope with everything life throws at them. Mums, not so much.....(I know my mum went through hell while I sailed through it all!).
I would ask hard about some kind of half time arrangement with your DH on hand part of the time. Schools tend to do more solid work in mornings, more social time in pm.
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