Starting school is a big milestone. For parents of children with bleeding disorders, there is a lot to think about to ensure that their children’s school experience is as normal and safe as possible. This means doing some homework before a child is enrolled in day care, preschool, or kindergarten, or moves to a new school.1
“Life gets busy and our brains are full of a lot of other things. It’s important for families to be reminded of how to prepare for back to school.“ — Sarah, Takeda clinical specialist
If you have a school-age child, your local bleeding disorders organization and Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC), or your healthcare provider (HCP) can help you assemble information packets to educate school personnel about bleeding disorders and arrange a meeting at school to discuss your child’s needs.1
Children with bleeding disorders can often participate in gym class, go on field trips, and play at recess. Discuss what's right for your child with their HCP.2
Before school starts, set up a meeting with a few of the key staff, like your child's teacher, the school nurse, the guidance counselor, the gym teacher, and someone from administration to make sure they know that a child with a bleeding disorder is under their supervision.1
Your HTC (or bleeding disorder organization or HCP) 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.1,2
Be sure to let staff know the difference between an external cut and an internal bleed and how to handle certain situations. For example, make sure the staff knows that an injury to the head, neck, or abdomen constitutes a real emergency and 911 should be called right away. Be sure to call out symptoms they can see, such as an arm that's limp or not being used.1
This includes the school's immediate treatment instructions, such as using R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, elevation) for bleeds, and factor infusion to help stop the bleed.3 You should also share your family's emergency and/or disaster plan with your child's school.1 Your child's healthcare team can also outline possible activities they should avoid or when to use safety tools like a helmet.1 You may also choose to direct them to the National Hemophilia Foundation’s (NHF) sports and exercise guide: Playing It Safe
Make sure your child wears a medical ID bracelet and that the school has contact information for you, your HTC, and your child's healthcare team. It is also a good idea to keep a wallet ID card with emergency contact information in your child's backpack and/or jacket.4
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.
Transitioning to adulthood with a bleeding disorder can be both scary and exciting.
Attend a HELLO TALK® session and ask our bleeding disorder experts any questions.
Whether at an event or online, get involved in the bleeding disorders community.