Teachers have the noble duty of imparting knowledge to students, which takes the better part of the day during school days. Because teachers spend significant time with their learners, they become their natural caregivers. The students have diverse health backgrounds, some of which are not well known to the teachers.
Sometimes, teachers face various health concerns among their students. Teachers need to be aware of particular health conditions to provide first-hand assistance to the learners in case of a need. Some common health conditions include:
Seizures affect one out of ten people. In an environment where there are large groups of people like in a school, the chances are high that there would be people with the condition. It is essential to be ready in case of an attack and ensure you have an emergency contact at hand.
Having the foundational knowledge to assist a seizure victim is vital in a school. A teacher is likely to be the closest adult to the victim in a school setting. Knowing the first aid for seizures comes in handy in the event a student suffers an attack.
You should ensure the victim does not hurt themselves during an attack typically characterized by jerking movements. You need to gently place them on their side in a recovery position to wait it out. If the seizure attack does not resolve itself in 5 minutes, you should call 911 for further guidance and medical attention.
Asthma is another common condition affecting several people. Students with asthma should always have an inhaler or a breathing treatment readily available in case of an attack. The attack can be a minor one that resolves within a short period or an intense episode, which may turn fatal. Availability of emergency treatment is essential.
It is critical to know the asthma symptoms to avoid unpreparedness when you witness them. The signs include breathlessness, coughing/wheezing, and chest tightness. The victim’s discomfort is visible and immediate assistance prevents the condition from deteriorating.
The victim should use the inhaler for assisted breathing and follow the home-treatment protocol of their doctor. If the attack is persistent and unresponsive to the treatment, you should seek emergency care.
Allergies are common in adults and children alike. Some allergies are unknown as they manifest several years after birth. Some common allergies include peanut and bee allergies. Exposure to the allergens can cause mild or drastic reactions that can be life-threatening. Students need to beware of their allergies and provide this information in case of accidental exposure.
Allergic reactions are unpredictable and many parents are opting for medicinal treatment. Using an Epipen is often necessary for allergy treatment. The drug is an injectable that cures the allergic reaction speedily to provide immediate relief. The medicine, however, needs someone to know how to administer it.
The precaution for allergic reactions is to avoid the triggers. The school should take note of the students with allergic reactions to particular foods and provide them with alternative diets. The students should also avoid exposure to non-food allergens in their environment.
4. Mental Health
Mental health is increasingly affecting children and young people and is a concern in many educational institutions. Teachers must discern the signs of mental health in students to provide them with assistance. Mentalhealth.gov provides guidelines on what educators should look out for in student behavior to identify the condition.
Some common symptoms of mental conditions in students include sadness and withdrawal exceeding two weeks, self-harm behavior, involvement in frequent fights, drug abuse, mood swings, lack of concentration, among others. Teachers should reinforce positive behavior among students and enable access to a professional mental health support system.
Choking is a common occurrence among children and happens when a food item gets trapped on the throat. The trapping obstructs breathing, cutting off the air supply to the lungs. If immediate help is not forthcoming, it can turn fatal. Knowing how to help a student when choking is a life-saving intervention.
When choking, you should try and encourage the student to cough out the obstruction. If the action fails, it is time to administer the Heimlich intervention. The Heimlich maneuver is a popular first-responder for a choking victim. The first-hand assistance involves firmly tapping the victim back, between the shoulder blades, five times. If the technique fails, you should urgently seek medical attention.
Protect the Wellbeing of Students
Knowledge of the health concerns affecting students helps save their lives, giving them a safe learning environment. The awareness also prevents panic associated with anxiety during an emergency. Witnessing the emergency response provides calmness and breeds confidence in students being in a conducive environment that protects their wellbeing.