Looking after a child with a medical condition takes a lot out of someone. You will learn a lot of new lessons about life by taking on this burden, but you can gain a lot along the way. In order to give your child the best life, all they ask for is you. That can feel like a lot, but with a little planning and forethought, you can offer your child as much of an enjoyable life as possible. Read our guide to ensuring that children with medical conditions live their best lives.
When you are looking to enroll your child in school, make sure to ask about any support they have available. Do they have an asthma toolkit? In-date Epi-pens (more info)? An alternative food choice to accommodate an allergy? Do they have anything necessary to keep your child safe while they are in the school’s care? Is every member of staff in contact with your child trained to know what to do in an emergency?
Keeping school staff informed of your child’s condition is also an important factor of their care. Offer the school a list of your child’s food and medical allergies, your emergency and next-of-kin information, and a plan should anything happen, such as a plan for prolonged seizures if your child suffers from epilepsy.
You and your little ones all deserve a break, and you deserve to create some happy memories. So going on holiday is of utmost priority. You can make this easier by having a plan before you go.
Write down, even in your phone, what medications you will need and set alarms for when to administer them. If you are unsure if your child can travel without restrictions, consult your doctor to be sure. Some flight agents require a long “fit to travel” form or certificate from your doctor, for example.
Companies like Staysure offer specialist travel insurance so that you, your little one and your holiday are all protected. You start with a basic single-trip policy that will cover the cancelling of your trip, your medical expenses, and lost or stolen baggage. Unlike most travel insurance policies, it also covers cancellation and medical expenses due to COVID.
After that, there is the more fun part: thinking of where to go. Consider what you think would suit your child and what they will enjoy. Will they panic in large crowds? Maybe avoid the tourist traps. Locate a hospital nearby, should you need it.
Lightening the load at home
Looking after a child with a medical condition can be a daunting ask. They tend to ask more of a guardian than most children, and depending on the condition, this can be as simple as some extra support and a routine medicine application, or as much as equipment and training, etc.
If you are facing a daunting task, like a period of recovery that will require extra attention, break the task down into smaller pieces. You only need to wake them right now, worry about the rest of the morning routine for now. This can feel less overwhelming and by doing a lot of little things you will find you get through them quicker.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. If your friends can carpool you and your child to school, it’s fine to accept that offer. Allow people to do what they can. Ask your doctor for any support they can offer, and if you need any mental health support, talk to your doctor (see here) about that too. It’s important you stay healthy for your sake and your child’s.