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Chronic Health Needs

Achondroplasia (Short Stature Conditions)
Care Plans may include
Allergic Skin Conditions
Estimates are that up to 20% of infants and young children may be affected by eczema at some point. There is no good data about how frequently hives and contact dermatitis occur.
Allergies: An Overview
Allergies are very common. In a national study of children with special health care needs, 53% had allergies of some type.
Altered Immunity: An Overview
No one knows for sure how many children have suppressed immune systems. It is becoming more common as more children receive transplants and survive serious problems with their immune systems like HIV. Some children have temporary alterations in their immune system from medications and the immune system returns to normal when the medication is stopped.
Anaphylaxis
The key adaptation to avoiding anaphylaxis is to try to avoid the allergen. This may mean
Asthma
Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in children, affecting between 5% and 10%.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Behavior management skills that can be included in a Care Plan include
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities caused by a problem with the brain. Children with ASDs have trouble in 3 core areas of their development.
Bleeding Disorders: An Overview
Bleeding disorders vary in types and severity, so it is best to get details about the specific child’s needs from parents/ guardians and the child’s specialty doctors.
Cancer
Ask the child’s oncologist for suggested training resources.
Celiac Disease (Gluten-Sensitive Enteropathy)
The treatment team includes a pediatric gastroenterologist and registered dietitians or nutritionists.
Cerebral Palsy
Care Plans may include
Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate
Develop strategies for accommodating children with cleft lip or cleft palate. Suggestions include
Cystic Fibrosis
There are currently about 30,000 children and young adults with CF in the United States.
Diabetes
Physical activity is important to the health of children with type 2 diabetes, so outdoor play is part of their therapy. Children with type 1 diabetes should be able to play normally. Staff should take a portable pack with insulin, syringes, high-calorie supplements, and glucagon in case of emergency whenever the child is in a different location or on a field trip. A glucometer to check blood sugar should also be available.
Down Syndrome
Down syndrome is a relatively common birth defect caused by extra genetic material from chromosome 21 (ie, there are 3 copies of chromosome 21 rather than 2). This syndrome affects the physical and intellectual development of the child.
Fluoride Varnish Can Help Prevent Tooth Decay
Healthy gums and teeth are important to your child’s overall health. This is why your child’s doctor will talk with you about good dental habits even before your child’s first tooth appears.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Babies with GERD can choke; a bulb syringe should be available to help clear the airway if necessary. If the baby is coughing, nothing should be done because the cough is the most effective way to clear the airway. If the baby stops breathing or making any sound, CPR techniques for infants should be used. These maneuvers are covered in pediatric first aid with CPR courses such as the American Academy of Pediatrics course, Pediatric First Aid for Caregivers and Teachers.
Gastrostomy Tubes
Gastrostomy tubes are placed in children for many reasons, including prematurity, feeding problems, and brain disorders, and they have become more prevalent as lifesaving medical treatments for children have improved.
Hearing Loss and Deafness
The Care Plan for children with hearing loss may include
Heart Conditions, Functional
Approximately 4,000 children are diagnosed with Kawasaki disease every year and most are younger than 5 years.
Heart Conditions: An Overview
Heart Defects, Structural
Thirty-five thousand babies are born every year in the United States with these problems, according to the American Heart Association.
Hepatitis
Call emergency medical services/911 for
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Hydrocephalus and Shunts
Hydrocephalus is the abnormal accumulation of spinal fluid, called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), within the brain. Hydrocephalus can be caused by a structural defect in the brain or spine that blocks CSF and causes it to accumulate. Sometimes a brain injury, especially one that causes bleeding, can interfere with the flow of CSF and cause it to build up and increase pressure. Sometimes, the brain can shrink because of brain damage and the CSF fills in the extra space. That condition does not cause pressure on the brain and does not require special treatment.
Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
The treatment team may consist of the primary care provider and a hematologist.
Kidney/Urinary Problems
Nephrotic syndrome can occur at any age but is most common between the ages of 18 months and 8 years. Boys are affected more often than girls. A child may come to the child care or school with the diagnosis or may develop it while enrolled.
Premature Newborns (Preemies): An Overview
One in 8 babies (12.7%) was born prematurely (less than 37 weeks’ gestation) in 2005. Of live births, 2% were born very preterm (less than 32 weeks).
Seizures, Febrile
Febrile seizures are described as generalized (whole brain and body involved), tonic-clonic (shaking) movements of a child’s body in response to a high fever. These seizures represent abnormal brain electrical activity triggered by fever.
Seizures, Non-febrile (Epilepsy)
Seizures represent the most common neurologic disorder in children. About 1% of all children have a type of non-febrile seizure disorder, or epilepsy.
Sickle Cell Disease
Children with sickle cell disease should have at least 8 cups of water or fluid per day.
Special Diets and Inborn Errors of Metabolism
Some of the more common inborn errors of metabolism include
Spina Bifida
Spina bifida means cleft spine, which is an incomplete closure in the spinal column. The 4 types of spina bifida are
Spleen Problems
Because the spleen can be affected differently by different diseases, it is difficult to say how many children have spleen problems.
Students With Chronic Health Conditions: Guidance for Families, Schools, and Students
School is more than a place to gain knowledge and skills. It also is a place where children meet new friends and learn about themselves and other important life lessons. Because children spend many hours in school, it is important that it be a safe and supportive environment for all children.
Tracheostomy
The Care Plan should address
Turner Syndrome
Turner syndrome is a genetic condition that only affects girls and women. It occurs when 1 of the 2 X chromosomes normally found in females is missing or incomplete.
Visual Impairments