As summer break ends, it’s time to talk about going back to school with your feeding tube. Whether this is your tubie’s first time—or they are a returning student, here are our top three tips for preparing for a successful school year:
- Make a kit of emergency supplies for the school nurse. Get to know him/her when you drop it off. Discuss what is in the kit and make sure someone at the school is comfortable with the actions to take if there is an emergency. Some suggested items for your emergency kit include:
– Extra device if using a MIC-KEY* G Feeding Tube
– Change of clothes
– Various syringes
– Extension sets
– Medication (one-day supply)
– A can of formula
– List of basic instructions, feeding schedule and emergency contact information
- Discuss your child’s feeding needs with their teacher(s). Explain the basics of their feeding schedule, as well as some potential “emergency” situations, such as a tube dislodgement. Be sure to let him/her know that the school nurse is prepared in case of an emergency.
- While keeping your child’s feeding routine consistent is paramount, talk to him/her about any changes that might occur to their schedule while attending school. Be sure he/she knows if someone will be assisting them at mealtime and who they should go to if they have an emergency.
In addition to preparing your child, their school and yourself for back to school, we can’t neglect the things that happen outside of school that may impact your child’s education. Many children on home nutritional support often have special medical needs that require attention during the time they would be at school or they may miss school due to illness. According to The Oley Foundation, many of these students require some special consideration or accommodations from their school systems due to medical needs, yet they do not qualify for the special education program. To help, Oley has put together a resource explaining the various programs that may apply to your child and help them successfully obtain an education—and still have their special medical needs met. You can find it here.
We want to hear your back to school tips and see your tubie head off to class on our Facebook page. Share with us here!