Returning to school after a burn injury can be overwhelming and frightening for a child. Reactions from friends, classmates and teachers play an integral part in the child's adjustment. Teachers need information. Friends and classmates have questions about the person they once knew who now looks different. The answers can ease the acceptance of the child back into the classroom.
The Akron Children’s Hospital Paul and Carol David Foundation Burn Institute offers a Back-to-School Re-entry Program tailored for the needs and concerns of children who have been burned. It helps prepare classmates, friends and teachers for the child's return.
The Back-to-School Re-entry Program offers a chance to explore the feelings and better understand the needs of the child who has survived a burn injury. It can also help the child who is changing schools or having difficulty at school.
Nurses from Akron Children's Paul and Carol David Foundation Burn Institute come to the school to educate classmates and teachers about what the child has gone through, how it may feel to be ridiculed, and changes in the child's body image.
Burn-injured children often realize they look different, but they feel the same way they did before their injury. Sometimes special pressure suits and masks are worn. Friends or classmates are often curious or afraid to ask what happened, how or why. This can lead to teasing.
We can implement the program for the entire school or just the grade levels having close contact with the burn-injured child.
For earlier grades, the nurses perform a 25-minute puppet program, and for higher grades, they give a 30-minute slide presentation. Through puppets or slides, children and teachers learn factual information about burns, treatment and prevention. It helps children understand that even if a classmate looks different, he is the same person he was before the injury.
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(8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)
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