As children grow up and the time comes for them to attend school, this can be an exciting time and present a whole new range of challenges. We have spoken to both young patients of school age who use home oxygen therapy, and their parents and carers, and have put together this selection of further advice and support.
It is important that your child’s school is kept as well informed as they can be. Baywater Healthcare is very happy to help with any training or education that the school feels it can benefit from. For example, we can make sure that one of our fully qualified Healthcare Technicians spends time with teachers and school staff so they are confident they know all about the equipment and how to use it. We can also leave copies of the Oxygen User Guide booklet as a reference. If you would like to arrange this please contact our Healthcare Helpline on 0800 373580.
We can also provide a ‘permanent secondary supply’ to the school; this is where an oxygen supply and oxygen equipment exactly the same as at home are provided at the school. This means that any oxygen refills can be ordered just as they would be at home, should they be required.
As with everything we have previously mentioned, as long as all health and safety guidelines are followed there shouldn’t be any issue with a patient on home oxygen therapy taking part in P.E. lessons or Sports Day – however we recommend that you always seek advice from your healthcare team before taking part in exercise.
Baywater Healthcare will gladly discuss these health and safety instructions with any member of the school staff.
School trips are part of school life and it should be possible for a child using home oxygen therapy to go on a school trip. Please discuss any planned trips with your Healthcare Professional.
Day trips – make sure the child has enough oxygen and that any home oxygen therapy equipment is transported in the appropriate way. Should extra supplies be required, then please call our Healthcare Helpline on 0800 373580.
Residential trips – the same principle and process as a holiday in the UK should be applied for a residential trip, although the school should agree to this in the first instance before any further arrangements are made.
If the school trip is to an area where Baywater Healthcare supplies home oxygen therapy then we can even arrange for a Healthcare Technician to visit the location of the trip to make any risk assessments that may need to be completed.
PLEASE NOTE: Baywater Healthcare CANNOT supply oxygen to a tent, and an oxygen supply should never be used in a tent. As oxygen can help fires burn more fiercely we recommend that anyone using oxygen stays at least 3m (10 feet) away from naked flames – this includes campfires.
We only request that all of our safety information is followed, with no compromise being made to anyone’s safety or wellbeing. It is also recommended that your GP is informed and is able to make any tests or assessments they feel are needed
As with school, Baywater Healthcare is happy to speak to any leaders or members of staff to provide education and training about the home oxygen therapy supply and equipment.
Just because your child is on home oxygen therapy doesn’t mean they can’t participate in activities such as swimming. You will need to take an extra length of long tubing and walk alongside the swimming pool next to your child with their oxygen cylinder, and if it is very busy this can be difficult. Have a chat with your Baywater Healthcare Technician or call the Healthcare Helpline on 0800 373 580 and ask for spare oxygen tubing and cannula that you can use just as a ‘swimming set’.
Pets in the home are seen as one of the family, but extra care may need to be taken if a home is shared by both a family pet and a child who uses home oxygen therapy. Some respiratory conditions could be made worse by the presence of pet hair and fibres, and extra care is needed to protect tubing and equipment from being pulled and chewed. Speak to your healthcare team for more advice.
It is a great tradition to allow children to blow out candles on their birthday cake each year however, if the birthday child uses home oxygen therapy, some extra safety points will need to be remembered.
DO NOT allow any naked flames of any size or kind near an oxygen supply at any time.
This does not mean the birthday or celebration is ruined, you can get very realistic battery operated candles which will look just as special on top of the birthday cake. Please remember to take extra care when attending other children’s parties.
In the summer it is essential that skin is protected from the sun by using a high factor suncream, but it is really important that any creams containing oils or petroleum products are not used anywhere on the skin. If you’re not sure which suncreams to use, you can check the ingredients shown on the bottle or speak to your pharmacist and explain the situation.