The verdict of my self-diagnosis: “Leaky eye syndrome.”
You know, when water just seems to leak out of your eyes for no apparent reason, or so you tell yourself. I know my unofficial diagnosis is due to my eldest granddaughter getting ready for kindergarten. This grandma doesn’t want to see the loves of her life grow up so fast. I know I am not alone in those moments of wanting to slow time down. I also know that there are counter emotions about going back to school; some parents are doing a happy dance as kids start to get ready for the back-to-school season.
As the ritual of getting ready to go back begins, it’s time to think about some special considerations with school shopping and backpack preparation not only for that first day, but also for the days to come.
Emotions Faced at School
Providing comfort from a distance
Working with children throughout my career, I found that having items that comfort them or help them with transitions is important. If they cannot take their favorite stuffed animal to school, pack fun bandages with familiar characters such as Elmo or Cookie Monster in their pencil case. It may seem silly, but when children have something that they can do for themselves—even if they don’t have a huge boo-boo—they feel in control of the situation which can help with the transition. My daughter came home one day covered almost head to toe in bandages. It had been a rough day, and having the bandages gave her an outlet to care for herself and acknowledge the transitions and emotions she was facing at school. When she got home, it also gave us a chance to talk about what was happening in an easy, conversational way.
Knowing who can assist for any emergency
As a parent and a nurse, I always made sure that I knew who was caring for my children during the day. I met the school nurse and the principal, along with the teachers. Now, some schools no longer have onsite nurses. Find out who is trained to care for your child if they need clinical care for any reason. If your child has allergies and they carry an EpiPen®, it is vital that you know who at the school can assist during reactions.
Asking about your child’s day and listening for cues
One little boy once told me that he was “slow and hated his brain.” This young boy, in fact, had a brilliant mind; he simply needed glasses to correct his vision. Vision changes can occur at very young ages, but children do not always understand the changes that are happening and may not be able to pinpoint that it is their eyes and not their brain having the problem. They may also not exhibit the same visual issue behavior as adults. That is why it is important to observe the behaviors of children, listen to what they say about themselves and review the work they are doing in school.
From school supplies to basic first-aid materials, there are many things you can do to help set your child up for success in school. As for me, my school supply list will include an extra box of tissues to deal with this leaky eye syndrome as I watch my little Izzy head off to her very first day of school.
What safety tips would you share with parents as back to school time approaches?
About The Author:
Martie L. Moore, RN, MAOM, CPHQ, is the chief nursing officer at Medline Industries, Inc., As CNO, Martie develops forward-thinking, solution-driven clinical programs, as well as new products and educational services. Prior to joining Medline, Martie was the chief nursing officer at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. Moore has nearly 30 years of clinical experience and extensive nurse leadership.