Starting pre-school can be just daunting for parents as it can be for the kids. Especially for those parents of children starting pre-school for the first time. Director and First Aid instructor of First Aid For You, Mary Dawes offers her expertise for parents of children who’ll be making the huge transition to pre-school in a few short weeks.
“Send the kids off to pre-school feeling empowered, give them their own first-aid pouch to stay in their backpack. While it may not see the light of day, it’s an important step in building your child’s independence,” says Mary.
Sitting down with the pre-school Co-ordinator or Director well before school commences to discuss your child’s health needs, is another must-do for parents.
“Parents should always request and read policies created by the pre-school in relation to asthma and/or anaphylaxis (or any other medical condition your child presents). Understanding the school’s rules and the knowledge the school has on the subject will allow you to comprehend the responsibilities for the school and you as a parent.”
Many pre-schools will have a medication chart, complete with images of the children, their pre-existing health conditions and medicines required for treatment. Mary suggests; “Make certain that something along these lines is in place so you can be confident all carers can and will be able to take suitable action should a medical emergency occur.”
You should give a clearly marked container with your child’s photo to the pre-school; it should include any medications, instructions and emergency contact details. “For older pre-schoolers, let your kids know, it’s okay to tell their friends about their medical condition and have the teacher explain to the class any symptoms they need to be aware of – you may want to offer to come in and help explain any difficult scenarios,” adds Mary.
It’s vital you diarise when any of your child’s medications left with the school are nearing expiration. “It’s important to keep medications left with the school current. As there may be multiple children with allergies or medical requirements, it’s your responsibility to ensure medications are always current,” suggests Mary.
It’s okay to be apprehensive about your child starting pre-school. To help ease the stress, enquire if the staff at your child’s pre-school has undertaken the Education & Care First Aid Course – which will arm your child’s carers with skills required in an emergency.
Mary finishes: “If the carers of your kids know what to do and how to act in an emergency, then your mind can rest a little easier, and both you and your child can enjoy this exciting milestone.”
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