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So upset, not sure what to do.

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kate0421 posted 5/23/2014 09:17 AM

So my 7 year old son was in the ER last night. Wednesday night my ds told me the side of his head was sore. I asked him a few questions and all he said he ran into something tues afternoon at school. I checked it out and kept an eye on him. I didn't think too much since surely if my son was really injured or hurt his school would have notified me. So yesterday I get a voice mail saying that when ds was in the kickball tournament him and another kid ran head on head into each other and got knocked down. So when I pick my ds up from school he kept saying how bad his head hurt. He had a headache, dizziness and said he felt really lightheaded. So I call his doctor on call and ask which hospital to bring him to. He was really tired and kept trying to fall asleep , I gave him some soda ( I know horrible, but it's a 40 min drive) and a snack to keep him up. I was way to nervous to let him sleep.
Anyway, on the way there I kept asking all sorts of questions, so did the doctor once we got there. Turns out Tuesday when he was playing outside, he was running and not looking forward, he ran right into a metal pole. He doesn't remember what happened after that but remembers he got up and was really really dizzy. He said he was trying to walk and he was walking all funny. He remembers someone telling him to just go sit down and rest. So my child ran into a pole went unconscious and had a concussion. No ice on the head, no visit to the nurse, no incident report. No phone call to me at all. The Doctor Told him he needs to tell me when stuff like this happened. He said he forgot and was just really tired. So if I would have known, he would have never of went to school the next few days. But he did, and while he was recovering from a concussion he ran head on into another person, which only worsened it. He was monitored for a few hours and although he was acting a little silly, it's not unusual of him. The doctor wanted to avoid a CTscan if possible. So he is home now and I'm just keeping an eye on him.
The doctor gave him a perscription to play video games and watch TV for the weekend ( every 7 year old boys dream right?).
I'm just so livid with the school. I'm not even sure how to approach this yet. This school is the only A list school in the county. They are known to be the best. When I was talking to my ds last night, it seems that the person who witness it and the one who told him to sit down could have been a teachers assistant or volunteer. I wrote the principal an email this morning just stating I had some concerns I would like to talk about in person. And to contact me whenever possible.

Any thoughts? I'm not the type of person to make a scene, I can definitely get my point across being a calm and collected individual, well at least with anybody but WS ( he just somehow pushes that particular button). My family is trying to tell me not to say anything yet,

fraeuken posted 5/23/2014 09:28 AM

Why is your family telling you not to say anything? The school should have called you and reported it, especially when he blacked out. If your son is injured under their supervision, they better take care of it. This could have ended much worse. I would have a friendly but very firm conversation with the principal that this is not acceptable and that parents can have a reasonable expectation to be notified about potentially serious incidents such as these.

TrulyReconciled posted 5/23/2014 09:28 AM

Focus on your son. Concussions are nothing to fool around with and can take a lot longer than you would expect for him to recover.

Yes, the school needs to review their protocols, but focus on your son.

StrongerOne posted 5/23/2014 10:05 AM

Your family is wrong. You are right to follow up.

Write out everything you want to say to the principal, be ready to take notes. At the end of the meeting, go over the list of "action items" he or she will be taking. Follow up with an email recapping everything.

Action items for me would be investigate this particular incident, ensure there are clear guidelines for what to do in similar incidents, ensure that all school staff are appropriately trained. And a written apology from the staff member involved (you might not get that one, but I'd ask).

My own experience is that the principal doesn't know this happened and will be horrified when he or she finds out, because this has lawsuit written all over it. (t/j, my DS's elementary school "lost" him once, I discovered that they lost track of lots of kids -- it has not been a problem there since, and my kid is heading to high school in the fall )

If the principal is not receptive, kick it upstairs -- superintendent of the school district. Again, plan your meeting, take notes, recap at the end, send an recap email.

At some point you will reach someone who gets why this is a spectacularly serious problem. Push until you get there. Be calm, but persistent. Keep good records.

Good luck. I hope your little guy is doing better. And no, it wasn't awful to give him soda!

Undefinabl3 posted 5/23/2014 10:11 AM

I think you know the answer if you are asking it here.

You need to follow up with the principal and anyone else that needs to be informed that they did not provide medical attention to a child that knocked himself unconscious. Bump head on desk or door? yeah, no big deal, give a little ice and move on....have to actually wake a kid up...not good.

It doesn't sound like you want anything from it, but they need to be made aware that your son was effectively ignored and he had to be seen medically afterwards. Yes, it has lawsuit written all over it, but I don't think that you are really looking for that kind of thing.

Dreamboat posted 5/23/2014 10:41 AM

In the schools defense, if someone in authority did not see him run into the pole and he did not lose conciseness (you can black out and not lose conciseness) and your DS did not tell someone in authority what happened, then how would they even know he needed medical attention? Your DS did not even tell you what happened. And in his defense, he is only 7 and did not know how serious a head injury could be.

I think the issue was that there was no person in authority who was monitoring all of the kids. I would hope that a teaching assignment had enough training to send your DS to the clinic if he ran into a pole and then was dizzy. But a volunteer does not have any training. So I think that is the issue, that there were not enough trained school employees monitoring the kids.

Hope your DS makes a speedy recovery

kate0421 posted 5/23/2014 11:16 AM

Thanks for the replies. And no I am not trying to get anything out of this other than new precautions to prevent this from happening to my child or any other child. I wrote an email to the principal and he responded fairly quick. He asked for my availability to meet and I responded.

New information: I just asked my son why he didn't say anything to his teacher. He said he did later that day, then she took him to the nurse. The nurse asked what happened and he said he was running and ran into the pole and fell. I guess when I asked him if he saw the nurse right after it happened and he said no, he literally meant he didn't see her RIGHT after it happened. He said " you asked if I went to see the nurse right after it happened. I didn't go see the nurse till later" lol I gotta love him. So detailed.
So I asked him some more questions. Like what did the nurse do after you said you hit your head? She gave me a piece of ice and wrote on my paper needed ice. I asked if she looked at his eyes or asked him any questions, like if he was dizzy or anything. He said she only asked 1 question ... "what happened?" And that it.
So now I'm really appalled. My family is filled in the medical field mostly nurses, doctor. I was an EMT. And I am so upset that this nurse didn't even look into it, or ask questions, or do any neurological examination check his pupils or anything. She didn't even call me? Wth. A nurse of all people, when a child hits his head and is complaining at the least would ask some questions and phone a parent. And at least let me know so I can keep an eye out or bring him to his doctor. So now I am just going to wait for the schedules appointment. Once I am there I will ask for his records to be pulled ( unfortunately alot of nurses will save their ass and change their records before admitting to it) I'm not trying to go after her liscense or anything but this is somehow bothering me alot more now that I know the nurse just dismissed it. She could have put my son's life in danger. He has now had two big blows to the head, which the second one would have been prevented if I knew about it.

Dreamboat posted 5/23/2014 11:23 AM

OK, that changes everything! I would hope that the school nurse has been trained to look for signs of concussions and at least ASK if he is dizzy or has a head ache or double vision. That she did not is appalling. And at the very least, you should have been notified!

sadone29 posted 5/23/2014 11:29 AM

I would approach the school with my concerns. Concussions aren't something to just brush aside.

I believe I suffered a few concussion in my teen years, and I never told anyone. I just recently recovered from one this winter from a car accident.

I'm a little surprised that the doctor okay-ed video games and tv. Video games especially can be way too much for the brain to handle when recovering. I could barely read words on a screen for more than a few minutes at a time for weeks. I hope it's okay that I brought up this concern. I had one doctor give me aleve for my whiplash only to find out it could have been dangerous for the concussion.

I wish your son a very speedy recovery!

tushnurse posted 5/23/2014 12:17 PM

Ok I get you are upset, and your son may have sustained a concussion on top of a concussion. It also sounds like the nurse did fail to do any real neuro exam on your son, base on his assessment of the situation.

However this statement;

unfortunately alot of nurses will save their ass and change their records before admitting to it
is offensive and untrue.
There should be set standards and protocols in place for head injuries in school. But if your son just told her he bumped his head, and didn't say I was dizzy, and couldn't walk straight after she wasn't given all the information, should she have asked more questions DEFINITELY.

He most likely will be fine. Most of us have suffered a concussion as kids, and as long as he allows his brain to heal, just like you allow any other injury to heal he most likely will have no issues. The fact that they didn't CT his head tells me there is NO concern for anything. They love to throw any head injuries with LOC into the scanner the second they roll in the door.

I had to refuse to let them do one on my son when he had head to head collision where he had a complete delete of the entire day. It is scary stuff for sure.

Sounds like he probably needs a trip to the redbox for a new game for the weekend, and lots of ice cream. I hear that is the number one cure for head injuries in boys.

dameia posted 5/23/2014 12:38 PM

You definitely need to bring this up with the principal.

The schools in my area are required to send home incident reports when a child is injured at school, at least an injury that results in a trip to the nurse.

My DD sprained her ankle in gym class a few years ago. Both the gym teacher and her classroom teacher didn't allow her to go to the nurse because they "were too busy". So she hobbled around on a sprained ankle for 2 hours before getting ice. Because of that she ended up on crutches for a week.

Like you I don't like to cause scenes, but I was livid! I immediately called the school, spoke to the assistant principal and told him what happened. He was furious and both teachers received offical warnings.

A concussion is MUCH more serious than a sprained ankle. Depending on the administration at your school, they may handle it well or they may try to sweep it under the rug. You have to follow-up constantly to make sure they change the protocols at your school. Let them know you're not interested in suing, or someone losing their job, but that you would like to ensure that this doesn't happen in the future. IMO a parent should be informed when a child suffers a head injury at school, even if they consider it minor.

Sounds like he probably needs a trip to the redbox for a new game for the weekend, and lots of ice cream. I hear that is the number one cure for head injuries in boys.

^^^I agree with TN^^^

kate0421 posted 5/23/2014 13:27 PM

Tushnurse I am sorry if I offended you in any way. I should state that with my experience alot of nurses will cover there ass first. I don't mean most, just alot. I was an administrative assistant for a nursing agency for a few years and in my experience this happened alot. Along with the long list of nurses and doctor in my family. Its a shame but It is really common around here.

tushnurse posted 5/23/2014 17:09 PM

No problem Kate but gross generalizations about the ethics of nurses just hit a nerve. Nurses where I live are held to very high standards in both their personal and professional lives and a cover your assistance alteration in a document would cost you your job and your license.

I get being hot at the school and you should make a deal out of it. If nothing else it's an opportunity to educate the staff on the types of questions they should be asking when it comes to head injuries. With all the press on concussions they all need to be aware.

I had an incident similar failure to notify when my dad was stung at Y camp. Her foot and ankle and lower leg were grossly swollen hot and definitely more than just a normal reaction to a sting. I actually threw a fit and then gave a lesson in stings and bites and anaphylaxis to the counselors. My kid couldn't wear shoes for 3 days.

purplejacket4 posted 5/23/2014 17:35 PM

Yes talk to the school. The nurse should have asked more questions but it's hard to say if she asked anything else or not. I wouldn't expect a concussed seven year old to have perfect recall of the event or trip to the nurse.

And concussion are supposed to be treated with physical AND mental rest ie NO VIDEO GAMES. Movies and music ok. Reading to him ok. Quiet playing with fingerprints, cars ok. Games, puzzles, anything requiring concentration are not ok.

[This message edited by purplejacket4 at 5:39 PM, May 23rd (Friday)]

jrc1963 posted 5/23/2014 19:58 PM

Before you crucify the school "nurse" I would make sure she's an actual nurse with training.

Due to short budgets in schools the person who functions as "nurse" is usually someone who's had an hour of training on how to dispense medications and take temperatures...

The school secretary at our school dispenses meds to the kids who receive meds at school... but these are the Rx's that the Drs send. She's not allowed to give the kids any OTC's or anything...

Medical care consists of a bandaid or bag of ice... She wouldn't even begin to know the questions to ask if a kid had a head injury that no other adult witnessed. She'd give the kid a bag of ice. The adult who witnessed the incident is the one who has to make the phone call to the parent and fill out the incident report.

I've filled out several incident reports over the years and called parents... and I KNOW I'm not qualified to evaluate a kid for a concussion.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't be concerned about your DS or talk to the school... You should.

I just wanted to make you aware of some of the problems with medical issues at schools.

Grace and Flowers posted 5/23/2014 21:46 PM

My kids both sustained serious injuries at school. One DS has cerebral palsy and fell down a flight of stairs. He was knocked out cold and needed stitches. He had a very serious concussion and started vomiting as soon as he woke up. The school "nurse" (yes, she was an RN) did not call an ambulance. Instead she called me (I worked at another school), and I took my son to the hospital. Another boy at the school with CP and an active seizure disorder actually went into cardiac arrest...again on the stairs, where our kids with disabilities were NOT suppose to be. Same nurse. It was a teacher who got his heart started while the nurse called his MOM, not 911.

Later, in HS, my other DS sustained a serious eye injury in gym. It could have blinded him that day, and he still has repercussions from it several years later. Different nurse, but same result...they just called me...a few HOURS later.

I live in a well funded school district outside of St. Louis. My advice is to raise hell. I've lived all over the country, and had some great school districts and some lousy one. Although well funded, this school district does NOT take care of their kids. That was entirely up to me, and unfortunately I had to do it by being a huge pain in their ass. But at least my kids survived.

Also, having worked in schools, I know that jrc is right. A lot of "school nurses" are just admin people with no training. In my case, both nurses were actual nurses. Just lousy ones. It was appalling how they would deal with kids (I ended up working with both of them at different times).

The best thing you can do for your kids is be a squeaky wheel. Schools are so underfunded and/or understaffed that even well meaning people can make huge mistakes.

The only apology I got from the school regarding the DS who got the concussion was from his teacher....who was taking him down the stairs, even though she wasn't supposed to HAVE him on the stairs to begin with, per his IEP. She did feel terrible, and still apologizes to this day when I see her. The nurse refused to ever discuss it with me....I had to deal with the principal and then the administration.

Good luck to you and your son!

Mama_of_3_Kids posted 5/23/2014 22:59 PM

Before you crucify the school "nurse" I would make sure she's an actual nurse with training.
Due to short budgets in schools the person who functions as "nurse" is usually someone who's had an hour of training on how to dispense medications and take temperatures...

100% this^^^

There are MANY schools who do not have a licensed nurse on some cases it may be a parent who is a volunteer. This does happen, even in "A" schools. Example: Three years ago my kid's school system (all of the schools in the district are "A" schools) had a hard time finding a high school nurse, so the middle school nurse covered both schools. In the event that a kid would come into the office, while the nurse was gone, one of the secretaries would "treat" the child.

Secondly, I am a nurse and I would NEVER, EVER, EVER change my records to save my ass...I am friends with "a lot" of nurses, who are trained in a variety of fields, and, again, they would never change records to save their ass. There may be *some* people who would do this, but I would say that "a lot" is a long shot off of those who would. I am a substitute school nurse and ANYTIME anyone hits their head, or runs into something, there is a protocol that is to be followed. A full neuro assessment is to be done, parents are to be notified, an incident report is to be filed, etc. Alas, I digress...

Is it frustrating that this happened? Yes, 100%. I feel for your little guy. Was the person who treated him wrong in their care? Yes. Does something need to be done? Yes and I hope the principal and/or the district does something about it. If they have an unlicensed person in the position, I hope they remedy this problem. There is a correlation in lack of treatment being provided, in schools where there is not a licensed nurse on staff during all school hours...I did a report on it about a year or so ago. If the person is licensed, again, I hope they do something about it. I hope your guy feels better soon!

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