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Keeping Kids in Class and Parents at Work: Telemedicine School Grants

Making the decision to keep a child home from school can be tricky.
When your child wakes up with the sniffles, you check to see if his or her forehead is warm to the touch. Next you grab the digital thermometer to check for an above normal temperature.

If it’s a low-grade fever, you have a decision to make: should the child get dressed and go to school, or stay home?

The American Academy of Pediatrics has general guidelines – but most parents, according to a national poll conducted by the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Childrens Hospital, send kids off to school (fingers crossed) and hope they make it through the day okay.

11 percent said not wanting to miss work was a very important factor. 18 percent said not being able to find someone to stay home with their sick child was very important.

Of course, sending the child off to school runs the risk of getting a late morning phone call that your child is ill and needs you to break away from your job to collect them from school. Next you’ll need to schedule a pediatrician visit or visit an urgent care clinic. If they’re still sick the next day, they will miss another day of school and you will have to stay home again.

Is there a solution?

Yes – thanks to GlobalMed. Telemedicine programs are making it easier for a sick child to be seen by a healthcare provider in the school nurse’s office. These schools have made arrangements with primary care providers to examine sick children via telemedicine. Parents sign informed consent forms to allow for medical treatment. If the child needs a prescription, it can be sent to the family’s preferred pharmacy. The parent can pick up the child, and the prescription, on the way home.

True, there’s no guarantee that the child will be well enough the next morning to go to school. But they’ve gotten a jump on the problem, which improves their chances of a quicker recovery.

GlobalMed offers healthcare delivery systems that work for both children and parents in the school setting. A well-planned school-based telemedicine system makes it more convenient for parents and allows children the opportunity to get well so they don’t miss a lot of classroom time. A number of districts have taken advantage of USDA telemedicine grants that pay the start-up costs of a system. You can learn more about these grants and see if they’re right for your school district.

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