Medical Conditions Policy

Policy Rationale

Children’s safety, health and wellbeing is of prime importance. MakerDojo has a duty of care to be aware of the needs, health and wellbeing of children enrolled in the program. If a child enrolled in the program has a specific health care need, allergy or relevant medical condition, every effort will be made to manage that condition within the scope of the experience, knowledge and abilities that can reasonably be expected of our staff members. In developing plans for the care of individual children, we will consider the program environment, the knowledge and skills of staff members, the needs of all the children at the program and our ability to adequately cater for specific health care needs. In some circumstances, we may be unable to offer a place to a child on the grounds that we are unable to meet their care needs reasonably and adequately. In this instance, we will communicate with the family as early as practicable to enable them to make alternate arrangements. Medical conditions refer to any condition diagnosed by a medical practitioner, including the risk of anaphylaxis, allergy, diabetes, and epilepsy. 

Anaphylaxis 

Anaphylaxis is a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction. Young children may not be able to express the symptoms of anaphylaxis. A reaction can develop within minutes of exposure to the allergen, but with planning and training, a reaction can be treated effectively by using an adrenaline auto injection device such as an EpiPen®. MakerDojo recognises the importance of appropriate training for staff members responsible for the care of children at risk of severe allergic reactions and/or anaphylaxis. Training should include preventative measures to minimising risk of anaphylaxis, recognition of signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and administering appropriate emergency treatment, including the effective use of an adrenaline auto injection device. Staff and parents/guardians need to be made aware that it is not possible to achieve a completely allergen-free environment in any service that is open to the general community. Staff members should not have a false sense of security that an allergen has been eliminated from the environment. Instead, MakerDojo recognises the need to adopt a range of procedures and risk minimisation strategies to reduce the risk of a child having an anaphylactic reaction, including strategies to minimise the presence of the allergen in the service. 

Asthma 

Children with asthma have sensitive airways in their lungs. When exposed to certain triggers, the airways can narrow and make breathing difficult. Symptoms usually include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or rapid breathing. Asthma can range from mild to severe – some children rarely need medication; others require it every day but with proper care most children can control their asthma. Understanding the nature of a child’s asthma is crucial but it is important to note that the onset of asthma can occur at any time. Families and staff members will share the responsibility of managing a child’s asthma by working collaboratively to minimise risks to the child, understanding asthma triggers and ensuring ongoing communication regarding the child’s health needs. MakerDojo is committed to providing, as far as is practical, a safe and healthy environment for children who have asthma so they can participate equally in the program. 

Diabetes 

Diabetes is a serious complex condition which can affect the entire body. Staff members will work together with families and the child to meet their medical needs as required. 

Epilepsy 

Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain function that takes the form of recurring convulsive or nonconvulsive seizures. Epilepsy is not just one condition; rather it is a diverse family of disorders comprising many seizure types. Seizures can subtly cause momentary lapses of consciousness, or conspicuous sudden loss of body control. Seizures are episodic and unpredictable and may occur as frequently as every day, or just occasionally in a lifetime. Medication required for children diagnosed with epilepsy will be provided according to their daily medication authorisation record and in the case of a seizure, according to their medical management plan. Staff members may require further training specific to their child’s needs in relation to epilepsy. 

Procedures

The service will:  

  • Assess the ability of the program and staff members to care for the specific health care need, allergy or relevant medical condition of the children attending.  
  • Ensure that detailed information is gathered regarding the specific health care need, allergy, or relevant medical condition of the child.  
  • Ensure that detailed information is communicated to staff via the enrolment process and other relevant documentation.  
  • In relation to the risk of anaphylaxis, the service will ensure all relieving and new staff members are aware of:  
    • The symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction.  
    • The child at risk of anaphylaxis.  
    • The anaphylactic child’s allergies.  
    • Where the anaphylaxis action plan is located.  
    • Where the auto-injection device kit is located.  
  • Ensure that a medical management plan is received from the families and a risk minimisation plan is prepared in partnership with the family, with both being maintained in the child’s enrolment record and displayed to ensure staff members can respond to the needs of the child.  
  • Where possible, provide training and support to staff members so they are confident in their ability to respond to the needs of the child. Specific training may be required for conditions such as diabetes and epilepsy to meet children’s individual needs.  
  • Have anaphylaxis information and awareness posters put up within program venues.  
  • When it is not possible to meet the care needs of the child, communicate challenges/difficulties with the family in a timely manner to ensure that the family is able to understand why the service is unable to provide care for the child. MakerDojo does not permit children to self-administer medication unless supervised. Any medication, including Ventolin, to either be done by or in the presence of staff. Medication and the dosage will then be recorded in the medication record.  
  • Ensure that staff members, volunteers and families are aware of the medical records and the processes of managing these are adhered to.  
  • Ensure this policy is provided to parents of children with an identified specific health care need, allergy, or relevant medical condition. (R91) 

Staff members will:  

  • Develop a risk minimisation plan relating to the specific need in conjunction with parents. This plan, along with the action plan is designed to: identify possible risks and enable risk minimisation strategies to be put in place. 
  • Ensure all staff members and volunteers can identify each child and are aware of their medical condition/s. Active supervision will be used at all times to monitor the condition of children with medical conditions.  
  • Ensure the child does not attend the service without relevant medication that may be required. This must be in date and labelled appropriately (see First Aid, incident, injury, trauma and illness procedures Policy, Acceptance and Refusal of Authorisations Policy and Medical Conditions Policy)  
  • Ensure an emergency puffer e.g., Ventolin is kept in the First Aid Kit and is within its use by date.  
  • Be aware of the location of the medication/action plans and other relevant information.  
  • Discuss participation in any cooking activities with parent/guardian if there are any concerns about ingredients used. Carefully consider selection of ingredients for cooking activities to minimise potential risk to children.  
  • Ensure hand washing for all children before eating.  
  • Ensure children who need to self-administer know that medication is only to be administered when supervised by a staff member.  
  • Record any medication and the dosage in the medication record when administered, checking that the medication is within its expiry dates.  
  • Read the action plan and relevant action/risk minimisation plans.  
  • Follow the medical management plan in the event of an incident relating to the specific health care need, allergy or relevant medical condition.  
  • Seek further information, training or support if necessary to manage the specific health care need, allergy or relevant medical condition.  
  • Follow appropriate procedures as defined in relevant policies if the specific health care need, allergy or relevant medical condition is Asthma, Anaphylaxis, Epilepsy, Diabetes or an allergy.  
  • In the situation where a child who has not been diagnosed as allergic, but who appears to be having an anaphylactic reaction:  
    • Call an ambulance immediately by dialing 000.  
    • Commence first aid measures.  
    • Contact the parent/guardian/emergency contact.  

Families will:  

  • Identify their child’s additional need on their child’s enrolment form. Failure to do so may result in the service cancelling the child’s booking. The service is unable to meet specific health needs where these are not disclosed and where staff members are unable to plan for them within the context of our service.  
  • Provide the service with a detailed action plan for the specific health care need, allergy, or relevant medical condition. These will be updated at least annually or more regularly if the child’s condition changes. Ensure that the child attends the program with all medications and equipment appropriate to respond to the specific health care need, allergy, or relevant medical condition. 
  • Ensure all necessary medication is handed to staff upon arrival even if the child is not self-administering. If self-administering, parents will inform their child that they need to seek out their medication from a staff member to supervise the administering.  
  • Agree that the child cannot attend the program without all medication and equipment identified during enrolment.  
  • Inform staff members of any changes to their child’s specific health care need, allergy, or relevant medical condition by updating their information in the online system.  
  • Agree to develop a risk minimisation plan in collaboration with staff members prior to their child attending the program.  
  • Support the program in their efforts to minimise risk and care for their child by:  
    • Ensuring all information is accurate and current.
    • Providing medications, equipment, and relevant health information for your child to the service  
  • Communicating openly and honestly with staff members in reflection of the service communication plan.  
  • Assisting in the development of risk minimisation plans  
  • Respond to the requests of staff members where those requests pertain to the care needs of your child.  

Communication Plan  

The purpose of this communication plan (R90) is to ensure that there is a clearly defined process for: 

  • Staff members and volunteers to be informed about policy, management plans and risk minimisation plans and procedures.  
  • Parents and families to communicate changes/needs to staff members about medical management plans, action plans, risk minimisation plans or their child’s health and well-being in general.  

This communication plan comes into effect when a child enrolled in the program is identified as having a specific health care need, allergy, or relevant medical condition.  

Communication plan for parents:  

  • All requests for care for significant health care needs must be forwarded to the office so that appropriate arrangements and training can be considered.  
  • Such requests should occur a minimum of four weeks prior to the commencement of the holiday program period. This ensures there is ample time to plan for each child’s needs.  
  • The office can be contacted from 9.00 am – 5.00 pm on weekdays, excluding public holidays on 0435 743 403 or via sensei@makerdojo.cvic.edu.au.  
  • Once your child’s specific needs have been discussed, the management team will inform you of the next steps to be taken.  
  • Once care for a child has been approved, parents can liaise with the office via the means listed above.  
  • During program periods, parents can liaise directly with the Dojo Sensei (Responsible Person) – either onsite or via the appropriate mobile number during operating hours.  
  • Concerns or questions specific to the management of the health care need, allergy or relevant medical condition at the program site should be discussed with the Dojo Sensei (Responsible Person).  
  • If concerns have not been adequately addressed, parents may discuss the matter with a MakerDojo Director.  
  • All parents must provide a current phone or mobile phone number, so they can be contacted by the office or staff if necessary. Parents must also provide phone contact details for at least one authorised nominee, in case of emergency. 

Communication plan for the service:  

  • All medical, health or allergy info and alerts information held by the service will be in date and parents will be asked to review it at least annually.  
  • When action plans and medical and contact forms are due to be updated the service will communicate this to the parents.  
  • Staff members and volunteers will be informed during team meetings about policy, action plans and risk minimisation plans to be developed.  
  • Medical, health and allergy alerts will be included with the enrolment process and be displayed at the service in the staff area.  
  • Master Sensei (Nominated Supervisor) will be required to inform their staff of specific health care needs, allergies, or relevant medical conditions they must be aware of at the service – this can happen during site-specific sessions at the team meeting, during program set-up or at the beginning of a staff member’s first shift at the program.  
  • All staff members and volunteers working at the service must sign that they have read and understood all risk minimisation plans as part of the preparation process for each holiday period. 
  • All staff members and volunteers to liaise with the Master Sensei (Nominated Supervisor) during program periods or the management team at any time if they have any concerns regarding these matters. 
References
  • MakerDojo’s medical conditions policy endeavors to adhere to the Asthma Foundation asthma management guidelines.  
    • Asthma Australia:www.asthmaaustralia.org.au  
    • Diabetes Australia: https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/school  
    • Epilepsy Australia: http://www.epilepsyaustralia.net/  
  • ACECQA National Quality Framework Resource Kit (2012)  
  • Quality Area 2 – Health and Safety  
  • Quality Area 7 – Leadership and Service Management  
  • Education and Care Services National Regulations (2011), R 73, 74, 75, 177 & 185  
  • Education and Care Services National Law Act (2010), S 165  
Version control date: March 2021 | To be reviewed: December 2021