Addressing the Effects of Missing School For Children with Medical Needs
Children missing school due to medical treatment is not a new concern. Over one million children 5 through 17 years of age are hospitalized in the U.S. each year (Elixhauser, 2008). Illness severe enough to require hospitalization is often preceded by missed days of school; thus, it will also entail additional days missed as children recover after discharge. Even a brief hospitalization can be disruptive to a child's education. In response to learning that many patients were concerned about falling behind in their education, Cardon Children's Medical Center developed and launched Cardon Children's School: A Bridge to Academic Excellence for Children with Medical Needs. Steps taken to identify the problem, convene a task force, reach out to the community, fund and recruit teachers, and document the unique academic assistance provided to patients are described in detail. Cardon Children's Medical Center has demonstrated that medical and educational institutions must collaborate together with our communities to raise awareness and provide continued assistance and support to children facing this issue.