Returning to school following a burn injury can be overwhelming and stressful for children with burn injuries and their families. At the UI Burn Treatment Center, our team of experienced school re-entry experts helps reduce anxieties and smooth the transition from the hospital back to the classroom.
Would My Child Benefit From This Program?
The school re-entry program is ideal for any child who has experienced a burn injury that causes lifestyle changes. Depending on the size and location of the injury, even a very small burn may be traumatic. However, a school re-entry visit may not be appropriate or necessary for every child. Some children adjust very quickly to their burns and do not need the extra support that comes from a school re-entry visit. Before making a decision, consider how much impact your child’s injury has had on his/her life.
Here are a few types of injuries or situations when a school re-entry visit could be beneficial:
- Facial burns
- Extended lengths of hospital stay
- Loss of an arm, leg, toe, or finger
- Skin grafting to any visible area of the body
- In-patient rehabilitation
- Children with additional emotional needs
When Should a School Re-Entry Program Visit Be Scheduled?
To ease social adjustment and acceptance, the UI Burn Treatment Center team prefers to set up an on-site visit to speak with the injured child’s classmates, teachers, principal, and school nurse before his or her return to school or within the first two weeks. An on-site school visit by our staff may also be beneficial if a child plans to change schools.
What Are the Goals of the Program?
- To ease the child’s transition from hospital to home to school
- To empower the returning student
- To inform teachers and students of the child’s story
- To encourage empathy and tolerance to differences
- To educate peers of appropriate and positive ways to interact with the returning student
- To provide information on fire safety/burn prevention
- To help peers and the school’s support staff answer questions they may have
Kids on the Block Puppets
Fun, interactive puppets are used in a non-threatening way to help educate children about fire safety and burn prevention. Students can interact directly with the puppets during question and answer sessions. The interactive puppets are most effective for children in fourth grade or below.
For More Information
To learn more about the school re-entry program at UI Children’s Hospital, please call our staff.
Lisa Miguel, Child Life Specialist
Child Life Program
Bridget Werling, RN