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ADVICE PLEASE - Children Say They're Sick!?!?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by irasor, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. Hi,
    I've just recently qualified and have been doing supply until I can find something more permanent.
    Today I was in a lovely little school, in year 3 and everything was going fine until one of the children informed me in the afternoon that she felt unwell and had been sick the previous night and therefore could she go to the toilet [​IMG] (which I of course said yes to).... this however led to an 'epidemic' in the class with about half the class telling me that they did not feel well and needed to go to the toilet, this continued for the remainder of the afternoon.
    I let a few of the children go to the toilet, and some of them genuinely did look unwell, 2 of which ended up going home. Also, when some of the children had been to the toilet they said they had thrown up (they had been gone for about 1 min max, and weren't particularly upset/distressed looking ... however as they're not my class it's harder to tell .... )
    Anyway, I am wondering what would have been the best way to handle this? Obviously not half of the class were genuinely unwell, however how can you really tell? What are the best strategies for dismissing those "Misssssss, I feel sick" claims [​IMG] without having children projectile vomiting in the classroom ....?

    Thanks in advance for any advice [​IMG]
  2. Say, "You are feeling sick because you have heard someone else talking about that, I always feel a bit sick if people are talking about it. Go back to your work and forget about it. If you still feel bad in 5 minutes come back to me." Be firm, and only give in if they have gone green. If they are really feeling very sick you will soon know about it. Vomit on the classroom carpet is not a rare occurence in schools and you just need to keep children away and call for the caretaker.
    Do you really think the 2 minute toilet visit was a throwing up problem? If so, they recovered very quickly. Say, "Oh dear, we will tell your mum when she comes, you look fine now. Come back if you still feel bad in 5 minutes."
  3. This is a tricky one. I was in a class were one child was genuinely sick then a few others started. (Year 2). I was a bit suspicious of others, One child who had a tendaency to act out when others did said she was sick but looked fine. I did let her go to the toilet but wasn't too sure if she was ill. Then she ended up being sick over her chair. So sometimes they don't have to look green, she had looked fine.
    Sometimes if you tell children they can't join in in a game, go outside for lunch etc if they feel sick it is amazing how they will suddenly feel better as they don't want to miss out.
  4. It is a tricky one. I find the same with children needing the toilet during lessons. I usually tell children to wait 10 minutes and ask me again if they really need to go. Most will start getting on with their lesson and forget to ask again. If they seem desperate I'll let them go straight away.
    Or I tell them that they need to complete a certain amount of work (for the ones who are obviously trying to avoid work) before they can go.
    I always find that if one child is genuinely ill others will try to get the same attention / get sent home. It is hard though, as a bug could be going round the class.
    I had a child tell me he felt sick after lunch yesterday. I gave him a drink of water to sip, and told him to try to get on with his written work. Amazingly during PE he made a very speedy recovery and was perfectly happy to jump, hop and skip around the room.
  5. Or gets lots and lots of buckets and/or lots of paper to mop any (unlikely) pools of vomit
  6. I was in a school where there was a sickness epidemic going around. There were 16 kids in the class absent. A lot of the children were coming up to me saying they weren't feeling well and I told them to see how they felt at break time and to have some water. One boy was really making out he felt sick (although he looked fine). At playtime I watched him closely and he was running around playing football, so I didn't follow up on any of his complaining. An hour later at lunch he was sick everywhere. The school were fine about it, as I told them I'd observed him playing football at break. I asked the Deputy Head to make sure the parent knew that he'd been fine at break time to cover myself.

  7. This is what I do. I also only allow one boy and one girl out at once. The first child to complain is usually the genuine one. They often feel a bit sick after playtime/ lunchtime if they've been running around a lot and it goes away pretty fast. And if they actually throw up that's what the sink is for, right?
    I do worry about parents complaining along the lines of 'my child told you they were ill and you didn't do anything'. I'm never sure how to respond to this.

  8. I remember going to a Domestic Science lesson and seeing the stuff that had grown on the petri dish I had coughed onto the week before. Boy, did I feel sick! I didn't throw up though. [​IMG]
  9. A rough guide but I think a quick and easy way is to feel their foreheads for a raised temperature, this means their body is fighting off an infection. If your not sure how to judge, just feel yours. This gives a rough indication if they have a bug so a good way to tell if the child who says they just been sick in the toilet really has as a raised temp. I always use this on the children that come to me telling me they feel sick and usually the ones that don't have the raised temp are fine after 5 min. Just assure them that they are fine because they don't have a hot forehead and you will keep an eye on them. If a bug is developing then the child will look pale and sometimes droopy eyes (tired look). Good luck x
  10. Depending on circumstances - I tend to say along the lines of go sit down quietly - if you think you're actually going to go "bleurgh" (they usually giggle at that point) then just get up and go to the toilet and don't stop to ask me and we'll see how you're feeling after you've had a walk around in the fresh air at playtime (then peek out of the classroom window at break and if they're haring around like a mad thing I take a mental note).
    If there's a TA around I'll ask their opinion since they usually know the resident malingerers!
    The circumstances thing - I was covering in one school that had a nice outbreak of the pukes and squits doing the rounds, kid said they felt sick and I was admittedly slightly supicious of this one - but because of the nature of the fact half the staff were off ill with this bug and the attendance was about 1/3 down I sent him to the office, calling ahead with a "I think he's trying it on but since so many people ARE being sick I've sent him down just to cover us all"... the office shared my opinion but in that case he got sent home just in case.
    I taught one kid who had a great party trick that he could make himself go green in the face at will - didn't quite believe it till I saw it in action!

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