Supporting Children’s Health – a New Educational Resource
Today’s blog post is by Viv Marsh, the Clinical Lead for Asthma and Allergy at Education for Health, a charity which specialises in providing education, training courses and resources for Health Care Professionals.
Education for Health have recently launched Supporting Children’s Health, a new online educational resource, in conjunction with The George Coller Memorial Fund. Here, Viv tells us all about the new resource and what it offers.
Supporting Children’s Health is a website for people who work with children and young people; it aims to give them high quality education about children’s health in a way that is both flexible and relevant.
The first educational module within the website is about asthma. Asthma is the most common medical condition seen in children and young people and therefore anyone who routinely works with them will come across it. It is also a very frightening condition as attacks can come on quite suddenly and can be very serious. It is so important that teachers, sports coaches, youth group leaders etc. know how to recognise when a child in their care is having an asthma attack and what to do about it.
As a Mum of two children with asthma I understand how hard it is for parents to leave their child, with a potentially life threatening medical condition, in the care of other adults. Parents want their children to lead normal lives: to be happy, join in with activities, and of course do well at school. They need to know that the adult they are entrusting their child to will be able to help them if there is a problem.
I remember my dilemma when my son wanted to go on an adventure activity trip with Beavers. He was too young to be responsible for his own medication and, as he had only just started, I didn’t know what policies were in place for such trips or what the leaders knew about asthma.
Luckily, the leader in charge had a good understanding of asthma. We chatted about policies and procedures and I felt confident that my son would be safe on that trip. Whew, he was able to go (without Mum tagging along as a “helper”) and he had a great time.
Another time, my daughter was playing in a hockey match and she was having trouble breathing but she wouldn’t stop to take her inhaler. When I tried to give it to her, she refused it; thankfully, it was just about half time and she used it then.
She explained afterwards that she didn’t want the coach to see her needing her inhaler because they would have made her come off the pitch and not take any further part in the match. She didn’t want to miss out or feel different.
My years as a school nurse and a community volunteer helped me to realise how difficult it is for teachers and others who work with children. Looking after sick kids is not what they set out to do and they are not health professionals. Equally, children must be safe at all times and able to participate.
The George Coller Memorial Fund is a fantastic charity set up by Kim Douglas following the tragic loss of her beautiful little boy George to asthma, when he was just 3 years old. Kim is an inspiration to all who know her and I am honoured to have been able to work with her and the charity a number of times over the years.
Working with education charity Education for Health, where I am the Asthma Clinical Lead, we came up with the idea of producing this website resource so that asthma awareness training would be freely available nationwide. We are confident that it will help to improve quality of life for children with asthma and their families.
Monkey Wellbeing would like to thank Viv for her blog post. You can find out more about Supporting Children’s Health at www.supportingchildrenshealth.org. You can also follow Viv on Twitter @vivmarsh.