Steps to follow: 4 steps to follow before the first day
Before school starts, set up a meeting with a few of the key staff, like your child’s teacher, the school nurse if there is one, the gym teacher, and someone from administration to make sure they know that a child with a bleeding disorder is under their supervision.
- Bleeding disorder basics: Your haemophilia centre can help you put together basic information to help the school understand bleeding disorders. You can help make sure the staff is ready to take action, if necessary. Though parents often know quite a lot about their child’s bleeding disorder, it’s better to bring in a health care professional, usually a haemophilia nurse, who has expertise in hemophilia/bleeding disorders to talk with teachers and the school nurse. The school nurse, though medically trained, may know little about hemophilia/bleeding disorders. Please contact your haemophilia centre to discuss this.
- Recognising a bleed: Let staff know the difference between an external cut and an internal bleed and how to deal with certain situations. For example, make sure the staff knows that an injury to the head, neck, or abdomen constitutes a real emergency and an ambulance should be called immediately. Ensure they call out symptoms they can see, such as an arm that’s limp or not being used.
- Your child’s care plan: School care plans/individual care plans help to ensure that schools effectively support children with their medical condition. They provide clarity about what needs to be done, by whom and when. It is important that a school care plan is in place for children with bleeding disorders.
A school care plan can be obtained from the child’s haemophilia centre. Parents should also provide the school with sufficient and up-to-date information about their child’s medical needs. The plan should include the school’s immediate treatment instructions, such as using P.R.I.C.E. (Protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation) for bleeds, and factor infusion to help stop the bleed.
You should also share your family’s emergency plan with your child’s school. Your child’s healthcare team can also outline possible activities they should avoid or when to use safety tools like a helmet.
- Emergency contacts: Make sure your child wears a medical ID bracelet or has their bleeding disorder alert card in their backpack and/or jacket and that the school has contact information for you, your heamophilia centre, and your child’s healthcare team.
Beyond school: As your child grows, so will the number of people they spend time with without you. Make sure to communicate the four key points above with anyone caring for your child such as a babysitter or another parent.
(Reference: Takeda: www.bleedingdisorders.com/milestones/children)
Bleeding disorders and school booklet
Our Bleeding disorders and school booklet is an overview of the important points to bear in mind when managing a child with a bleeding disorder. It is not a complete guide; the relationship between the school and the parents is paramount. This will ensure that the school, the child and the parents feel confident and supported in managing any difficulties that may arise.