|I'm a teacher, and it's terribly
for me to learn that one of my students has an illness only after some
type of episode has occurred during class. Let me explain:
A couple years ago, a child started class before his records arrived. When his mother brought him in, she didn't mention anything about his history of health problems. He appeared somewhat spacey, as if on an extended day-dream, and over the next few days I began to wonder if he was at risk for failure. When the child's school records finally arrived from his previous school, I learned that he had a medical history...of seizures. I called his mom who told me that he was on anti-convulsant medication and that the exact dosage was still being worked out. Before I had a chance to learn more about what type of seizures he was having, what symptoms I should look for, how I might best help him, the name of the medication he was taking, the dosage plan in place, before I had this information that I consider essential, he moved on to another school. I sometimes wonder what happened to this youngster, and wish that I had been better informed!
I have had children with known insect allergies start school without my being aware of their sensitivity, and with fire ants populating the same school as the children, the situation was a dangerous one. Though most parents are open and informative about their child's illness, the potential consequences of not sharing vital health information with a person who spends 6 hours a day for 180 days with a child is scary!
As the school year begins, I hope
take the time to visit your
Please keep your children's
of any changes in health status, too. We depend on you. When
say things like "Call me, let me know how your child's doing",
that we are serious. We really do care because your children are the
that make our jobs so incredibly rewarding. They have become important
people in our lives, and we thank you for trusting us with their
Joan Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Associate Professor of Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY
Bronx, New York 10468
Last updated: March 27,