A new school year means new routines for you, your child, and your child's teacher. If your child is living with acid reflux, below are six things you may wish to share with your child's teacher. Our own meeting with our son's teacher was just last week, so I thought I would share our experience while my notes were still fresh...
1) Small, frequent meals work better. Translated to a school setting, this may mean that a mid-morning snack may be required, especially if your little one is not able to eat a substantial breakfast in the morning. At our meeting last week with our son's teacher, she and I decided we would see how the first few days of school went, and if it seemed like it was too much of a time stretch between the start of the school day and lunch, we would send in a small snack for him to grab when he needed it.
2) A drink of water may be necessary. When my son has reflux, he needs a drink of water - now. I explained this to my son's teacher, and she told me the children in her class are free at any time to go to their cubbies and get a drink of water from a water bottle.
3) Medication may need to be taken. My husband and I have decided to try to space our son's medication out so he does not have to take it to school. He needs reflux medication three times a day, so we are going to try to wait until after school for his second dose. However, your child may need lunch time medication, or if other conditions are present such as asthma, this meeting is a good time to discuss things like when an inhaler is needed.
4) Reflux affects social situations. Classroom parties, lunchroom routines, and any other social situations that may involve food at school should be discussed at this meeting. Our son's teacher was very organized and was able to give us a schedule of what parties were already planned for the year. My son's school administrators have designated a special lunch table where children with food allergies sit. In my son's case, his greatest wish is "to just be like everyone else when it comes to food." Starting off a new school at a table away from his classmates would be extremely stressful for him. This will be a decision you will have to make for your own family if food allergies are an issue.
5) Your child is more than his or her reflux. Be sure to let your child's teacher know who your child is as an individual. Sharing his favorite pastime, or favorite relative, or favorite pet may help your child and his or her teacher bond more quickly.
6) The best way to contact you. Make sure before you leave the meeting, you ask the teacher about his or her preferred method of contact. Our son's teacher preferred email, but at the meeting, I found out that unless an email is sent to the school at the beginning of the year, it automatically gets filed as spam. That information alone was almost worth the time of the meeting!
Read more great back-to-school posts!
Published On: August 25, 2008