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>>A Sickle Cell Disease's child, school and sport

Information for school and teachers

Sickle Cell DiseaseSickle Cell Disease is a genetic disease from defective hemoglobin (hemoglobin S), which is contained in the red cell. In particular conditions such as cold, fever, dehydration, this defective hemoglobin makes red cell sticky so that, it can not go through little blood vessels or capillaries.
Complications and preventive measures will be explained to you further in this booklet.
Some children suffer from anemia that can be dangerous. Some infections can be life-threatening and painful events can often occur and are unpredictable.
Most of the time, those children lead a normal life. But some special arrangements with the school’s teachers can help them and are useful.

Teachers must be aware when they face some warning signs :

  • In case of fever higher that 38°C, the child must see a doctor and if his temperature is higher than 38°5, he must be hospitalized.
  • In case of pain, he must drink a lot of fluid and receive appropriate pain medicine before seeing a doctor.
  • Pale is an emergency and admission in a hospital is mandatory.

Some practical arrangements are needed at school :

  • The child must not be exposed to cold. When it’s too cold, it is better for him to stay in the classroom at time of recreation and to be well covered.
  • If the doctor agrees for swimming, water at the swimming pool should be > 23°C otherwise it’s prohibited. The child must be informed not to get cold coming out of the water so he must dry himself quickly.
  • The child can exercise (check with your doctor) but he must avoid strenuous exercise, or effort, endurance exercise and dehydration. The child must stop his activity if he fills shortness of breath, or chest pain or pain in joints or in bones. The child must avoid strenuous or lengthy activities although moderate physical activities are recommended.
  • High altitude higher than 1500 M is prohibited.
  • Light and moderate exercises are to be promoted and competition is prohibited.
  • The child must drink plenty fluids and therefore must have access to toilets during lessons, especially when the weather is very hot and after exercises. He should play in the shade.
  • Exposure to cold, to warm temperature or to sudden changing weather is to be avoided.
  • Rooms must be regularly ventilated.
  • No exposure to cigarette smoke or smoking.

The teacher should take into account the child tiredness which can happen because of anemia. Heavy bags and climbing stairs which are not necessary should be avoided.
In case of pain, pain medicine as prescribed by the doctor should be given at school.