By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

“Keeping students with anaphylaxis, asthma, diabetes, and/or epilepsy safer: Information for parents and guardians” When it comes to supporting a child with a medical condition, cooperation and communication between a parent or guardian and the school is very important. From parents to students, and teachers to principals, everyone has an important role to play keeping children healthy and safe. All school boards in Ontario are expected to develop and maintain a policy or policies to support students with asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, and those who are at risk for anaphylaxis, which is the most serious type of allergic reaction. This is outlined in PPM 161, which is a Ministry of Education policy to support students with one or more of these conditions. “Plan of care” The Plan of Care is a key part of the support system to help children to participate at school to their full potential. The Plan is co-developed by you, as the parent or guardian, your child’s principal, school staff, as appropriate, and your child, as appropriate. With your permission, the Plan of Care is shared with school staff, such as teachers, food services staff, and administrators. It includes information on routine or daily management, as well as medication or other supplies, including where they’re kept. The Plan also covers the following information about the child’s condition: What can lead to a medical incident or emergency; How medical incidents and emergencies can be prevented; What happens to the child when a medical incident or emergency occurs; and what should be done if there is a medical incident or emergency. The Plan of Care should be completed within the first 30 days of every school year. Updates should be made whenever there are any changes to your child’s medical condition or its management. “What is my role as a parent or guardian?” Your role includes helping your child to learn about their condition and involving them as much as possible in the management of their condition, as appropriate. You also play a key role in developing the Plan of Care, and providing any related medications, supplies, and instructions to the school. To help the school support your child and keep them safe and healthy, it’s important for you to maintain open and ongoing communication with your child’s principal. “What is my child’s role?” Depending on your child’s stage of development and their capacity to manage their medical condition they may be able to carry out daily or routine activities related to their condition, such as checking blood sugar or using their inhaler. Encourage your child to be involved in developing their Plan of Care and to speak up to you and/or the principal if they have any difficulties at school or need further help. “What is the role of my child’s school?” The principal is expected to work with you to keep your child healthy and safe. This includes making sure there is a Plan of Care in place. It’s also expected that the principal and school staff will give your child the opportunity to participate in school to their full potential. This includes allowing them the time and space for activities related to their medical condition, such as taking medication. Find more information about supporting students with anaphylaxis, asthma, diabetes, and/or epilepsy at the Ministry of Education’s website.

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