Picking up my son after his school journey to see his face swollen and blotched.

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Shukri
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Picking up my son after his school journey to see his face swollen and blotched.

Postby Shukri » Sat May 25, 2019 1:47 pm

Hi all,

My son went on a school trip abroad this week and when i went to pick him up from the coach, I found his face including his eye area all swollen, blotched and dry with skin peeling. When I saw him I did not recognise him at all, so at the time I thought “that’s not my son” proving how serious this was.

During pick up none of the teachers addressed what had happened to my sons face, no one contacted me DURING the trip and even up till now I have STILL not received any reasoning whatsoever. My son needed serious medical attention the first instance his face was identified by the teachers, there is NO chance they could have possibly missed it. Due to my poor level of spoken English (hence my daughter is writing this), I asked my friend to kindly come with me to speak to the headteacher regarding this matter. When we confronted the headteacher (bear in mind the children were dropped of around 6.35pm) outside the school gates, he cheekily smirked and replied its (7.00pm) and quickly ran off into the school giving us no explanation.

I went to the doctors last night with my son and she told us he must have had a possible allergic reaction and needs to go through some test via the hospital. She prescribed him some creams to help reduce the swollen face which is helping.

I am extremely shocked that the school did not contact me to let me know of my sons swollen and blotched face. How can a school do this? Teachers have a duty of care, and in this case it was disregarded. I can’t believe this has happened, right now my son has isolated himself in his room and was crying all night yesterday. He didn’t receive the help and support he needed, he’s only 11!

I have sent an email to the headteacher and the governor board detailing everything that has happened, including a possible breach of neglect.

If anyone of you could give me some advice then it would be dearly appreciated.

Thank you for taking your time reading this,
Shukri
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Titanium
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Re: Picking up my son after his school journey to see his face swollen and blotched.

Postby Titanium » Sun May 26, 2019 12:31 am

How awful, just when you trust the school and confide your child you then feel betrayed.
I hope that you get some answers. You will most definitely get some sort of apology but sadly authorities easily dismiss responsibility on parents who are being judged as being either overprotective or neglectful depending on the context and whatever suits the school’s position.

You are not alone and other parents have to get through some battles with schools from time to time but when you are seen as socially vulnerable it is harder for you and easier for them to avoid taking responsibility and dismiss you as the head teacher did.
So you may have to consult a professional and I would advise you to start with the Citizen Advice Bureau at Clapham Junction (in the library opposite Asda). They are a team of solicitors who provide free legal advice and you can ask them to write to the school on your behalf. The school will then have the duty to investigate. Remember to take some pictures in case you need them later.

For your son please try to keep calm (even though it’s hard and you feel hurt, it will help him if you remain calm), you might want to reassure him that you will address this with the school so that his needs will be respected as should be in the future and focus on the good times he’s had. It’s great for them to spend a week out there without us parents so try not to let this holiday he had become the topic of a crisis and let him share his good memories, you will see this will help you take some perpective while you address the problem with the school and so you might feel less stressed.

Perhaps someone on this forum, who has experience with school governors or school complaints can also advise you, anyone ?
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Needcoffeenow
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Re: Picking up my son after his school journey to see his face swollen and blotched.

Postby Needcoffeenow » Tue May 28, 2019 8:14 am

Schools now unable to administer anything other than very basic medical treatment but should have contacted you. We had issue with our son being bashed on head in rugby. School neither contacted us to collect him or took him to A and E. I would say first step is to ask head of year what their policy is and, if no satisfactory reply, contact governors. At our children's secondary, parents got together to demand clarity on this.
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Star
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Re: Picking up my son after his school journey to see his face swollen and blotched.

Postby Star » Tue May 28, 2019 9:34 am

Unfortunately schools do very little to be proactive about educating and training staff on how to deal with allergies. It is up to the parent/ guardian to provide emergency medication and quiz the staff on their knowledge. In your case you did not know your son had an allergy and of course an allergy can present itself later in life at any time. So they should have known what to do.

It sounds like your son had a minor reaction and the swelling and itching would have been eased within half an hour or less and would nkg have turned into blisters so very easily with a spoon of piriton or benedryl which you can buy over the counter in a pharmacy. Many children with allergies will have this along with epipens which are for severe, life threatening reactions when the airways are blocked and you can die. If another child was carrying allergy medication, they could easily have used theirs on your child. If there was non available they should have looked into getting some and contacting you.

It is really poor that none of the staff were able to identify this common way an allergy presents itself. They should have contacted you, should have made sure they took steps to find out what to do by call 111 or got staff to find some antihistamine.

You really need to have a talk to the head and governors about how sad and angry that nothing was done while was in discomfort. That all staff must be trained to know what an allergic looks like and to take the necessary steps.

My youngest has a few allergies and I do worry that schools just do not know how to respond in an allergic reaction, severe or minor. In a minor reaction the itching and blistering is very uncomfortable but a simple does of anti histamine is all is needed to calm it. With an epipen it's also very easy to use and vital too in a life threatening situation.

On the other hand there are some teachers who are completely OTT about it unneccesarily, for example not letting him have home made cake brought in by someone on their child's birthday which clearly had no nuts but the teacher was worried as she couldn't be sure (!) Or separating him from his friends eating fish in the dining room (and most children pick fish and chips when it's on the menu)as he is allergic to fish. But we eat and cook fish all the time at home and cook him something separate and it is just something he doesn't eat and does not need to be separated! Again it shows lack of understanding about allergies and how people live with them very easily.

My son is beginning to outgrow the allergies so make sure you keep testing every year to monitor it.

Good luck with it and it is absolutely okay to make a fuss about this. In fact you will helping another child. Your headteacher did not respond well at all and defintely needs educating on this as do all his staff responsible for taking children on trips and on the premises at school.
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