Allergy: School cooperates with physician in charge
Insurance association advises school personnel
The Judicial Foundation of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology created a guideline for school personnel to support children suffering from allergic diseases during school life. It`s most significant feature is to request information like severity of symptoms, cautionary advice during school hours, emergency contacts etc. from the physician in charge.
It will be distributed to all schools throughout the country next month.
The Ministry of Education is requesting the Foundation
and the Japanese School Health Association (Tokyo, Minato) to make the guideline. The school confirms whether the child has an allergic disease through the health examination for children starting school age and the school checkup. “School life management guidance table” is passed to the guardian, and the physician in charge fills it in. As for the guidance table, both sides are printed on one form of A4 size.
The content of the severity of symptoms and treatment of five diseases (asthma, atopic dermatitis, conjunctivitis, food allergy, and rhinitis) is indicated by circling the check items. Cautionary notes are provided by the physician in charge. Based on the guidance table and interviews with the childrens` parents, the schools make an “Approach Plan” for each individual student. For instance, a child with dermatitis and food allergy shows the parents advisory notes such as “Please remove sweat from the skin in the shower after sports” or “Please prepare an alternative menu that doesn’t use egg with the school lunch”. Teachers other than the guidance teacher and the class teacher also share information through the conference held about twice a year.
It introduces information on fits of asthma and food allergy`s shock symptom.
It also explaines clearly that the self-injection medicine “Epipen” which is used as an emergency measure in case of shock must be performed by either by the person himself, the parents or by the doctors. If, however, a pupil is unable to perfom the injection by himself, a teacher taking over should be regarded as first aid and not be considered illegal.
Says a representative of the Mother`s Association, Mariko Sonobe:” Up to now, parents` request for support have not been granted. The guideline will form the basis for consultations with the schools.” She says, “I hope that this may be the catalyst for supporting allergic children at the entire school”.
School’s Reaction to allergic disease slow
Many children suffer from allergic rhinitis, totalling about 1.18 million (9.2%) according to the investigation of actual conditions of the allergic disease that the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology executed among about 12.77 million pupils of elementary schools, junior high schools and high schools in fiscal year 2004. Adding to that 700,000 children with atopic dermatitis (5.5%) and about 730,000 (5.7%) with asthma, allergies are a major cause of distress among children.
On the other hand, it also turns out that schools have been slow to react to the problem.
58% of schools claimed that communication between school, parents and doctors during occurrences of fits was quick. 36.7% said they were aware of what medicine the children needed.
Reference: Nikkei, April 9, 2008