Back to School ABC’s for CHD Kids

September 24, 2012

Mended Little Hearts and CardioSmart have joined together to provide parents and caregivers of children who have congenital heart defects with some back-to-school tips.

Most children are now officially back to school for the 2012-2013 school year.   Whether your child is in preschool or grade school, if your child has a congenital heart defect (CHD), there are a few things you may want to consider for the beginning of this school season.


  • Plan for Emergencies
    • Written Plan:  Parents and caregivers want to be sure to communicate a plan for emergencies with the child’s school administration, teacher(s), and school nurse (if your school has one).  Work with your child’s cardiologist to create this plan.  It would also be helpful to get input from your child’s pediatrician or family practice doctor.  Although emergencies are unlikely to occur, having a written plan can make everyone feel more comfortable about caring for your child during the school day.
    • AEDs and CPR: Parents and caregivers will want to ask their child’s school administrators if they have AED (Automated External Defibrillator) devices and how many people are trained in CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation).  This is good information for parents to have.  You can encourage your school to be prepared for cardiac emergencies.
  • Learning and Neurodevelopmental Issues:  If you are noticing any learning or neurodevelopmental issues with your child, start the screening process early. If your child is in grade school in the public school system, and you notice issues that are causing significant problems with your child’s ability to learn, you may want to ask for an evaluation. If your child already has an IEP (Invidualized Education Plan), you will want to review it to be sure no changes are needed. To learn more about Individualized Education Plan’s, look at the Department of Education website for your state.
  • Avoid Colds and Viruses: Help prevent colds or illness by encouraging frequent hand washing, having anti-bacterial wipes in your child’s backpack in case he or she is unable to wash, and asking your child’s teacher about sending in a water bottle for your child rather than having him or her drink from the water fountain. During cold and flu season, have your child wash hands immediately upon arriving home as well.   In addition, make sure your child is getting plenty of sleep and eating a healthy diet.
We wish your family a happy and safe school year!
Best Regards,
Mended Little Hearts and CardioSmart
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