Ramadan & Field Day

  1. Hi. New School nurse and have a very diverse student population. Ramadan started last week and I have a good amount of kids 1st-6th grade come in complaining of headache, stomach ache, nausea, dizzy. The kids, as well as some parents, have stated it is probably due to the fasting. I knew the basics of Ramadan but did not learn until today that the kids can't even have a sip of water during daylight hours.

    We have Field day next week and I brought my concerns to the administrators about kids fasting and then participating in strenuous activities during field day. I don't want them to be excluded but they are already having trouble during the day just sitting in class. I'm in South Carolina so it can be 80s here by mid morning.

    I have been told that kids have passed out before on field day and that with them drinking water and eating.

    Has any one else been through this and what has your school done? The admins want me to write a letter to parents and I don't even know where to begin.

    *This post is not in regards to religion or religious beliefs. I am just concerned for health and safety*
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    About SavyNurse, ADN, RN

    Joined: Feb '18; Posts: 30; Likes: 55

    22 Comments

  3. by   Farawyn
    If you write a letter home this could open a HUGE can of worms.
  4. by   cid1
    I just did a quick google search and it looks like fasting is obligatory after puberty and recommended to start trying between 7-10 years old (it also says to "lightly beat them" if they can't fast).
  5. by   offlabel
    If you must send a letter, simply state plainly that drinking water will be available and encouraged for all participants in the events. You could put in some basic signs and symptoms of dehydration and heat exhaustion and how to avoid them. Don't refer to any specific group. Done.

    What parents do from there is up to them. They have their obligations and the school district has theirs. You have an obligation to treat and the parents have given implied consent by enrolling their student, unless they have written directives to the contrary.

    Should not be a big deal.
  6. by   Farawyn
    Quote from offlabel
    If you must send a letter, simply state plainly that drinking water will be available and encouraged for all participants in the events. You could put in some basic signs and symptoms of dehydration and heat exhaustion and how to avoid them. Don't refer to any specific group. Done.

    What parents do from there is up to them. They have their obligations and the school district has theirs. You have an obligation to treat and the parents have given implied consent by enrolling their student, unless they have written directives to the contrary.

    Should not be a big deal.
    Okay, you calmed me down.
  7. by   KeeperOfTheIceRN
    I don't know, I think if you word it correctly, a letter might be ok. The only catch is I would recommend sending it to EVERYONE and not just those who are participating in Ramadan. I usually send out a newsletter type of email at this time of year reminding parents (and students) to remain hydrated and what to do if they feel they are too hot. I try keep it light and fun but put in as much info as I can. I guess it would be up to your admin if they're ok with you sending something out like that instead of a formal letter sent to just those that are participating in Ramadan.
  8. by   offlabel
    Quote from Farawyn
    Okay, you calmed me down.

    And without Versed! Gotta remember that....
  9. by   MrNurse(x2)
    Could you encourage your administration to be culturally sensitive and schedule field day before Ramadan for next year? Being in the south, you are a little more flexible with the weather.
  10. by   OldDude
    Quote from offlabel
    If you must send a letter, simply state plainly that drinking water will be available and encouraged for all participants in the events. You could put in some basic signs and symptoms of dehydration and heat exhaustion and how to avoid them. Don't refer to any specific group. Done.

    What parents do from there is up to them. They have their obligations and the school district has theirs. You have an obligation to treat and the parents have given implied consent by enrolling their student, unless they have written directives to the contrary.

    Should not be a big deal.
    Quote from Farawyn
    Okay, you calmed me down.
    Whoo! I like that communique offlabel...obviously your brain is larger than your xray indicates...
  11. by   AdobeRN
    I send a letter to all students before Field Day and our annual 5K PTA fundraiser - topics include Allergies: take meds at home, kids outside on grassy field, I do not have meds. Sunscreen: Apply at home or send in with student to apply them selves; school does not provide. Hydration & Snacks: reminder to eat good breakfast, hydrate (hot and muggy here), bring water bottle to refill. Extra clothing: during field day there are water activities, kids will get wet, send in extra clothing if you think your child will be uncomfortable when they return to air conditioned cold room. Inhalers/Neb medication: be sure to provide my office with inhalers and/or neb meds - never fails, I almost always have a handful of kids that wheeze, c/o SOB etc after participating in these events and never have issues during the rest of the year.
  12. by   JenTheSchoolRN
    Our counselor sends out an email before Ramadan each year, reminding staff of it and that we have some students that observe it and that it does include fasting.

    The students I've worked have their parents wake them up at 3 or 4 AM for a meal so they can still fast but also eat and drink closer to daytime hours they are in school. We arrange for these students to take exam earlier in the day as well. They are given the option to not participate in gym (we hold gym outdoors and New England weather is 90 one day, 50 the next this time of year) and I'll give the gym teacher some extra ice packs for cooling. We don't exclude but many choose to not participate on their own. I've talked with individual parents as needed if student's symptoms are severe. But I do work with older students and most of them are aware and have a fasting plan in place.

    But yes, send a general hydration, etc letter, nothing about religion.
  13. by   WineRN
    I love the idea of a generic letter to all families hitting dehydration, allergies and extra clothes (I might do this next year!)

    We have a few students who will not be here on this years field day due to Ramadan (last year we were out of school before it started).
  14. by   OldDude
    Quote from AdobeRN
    I send a letter to all students before Field Day and our annual 5K PTA fundraiser - topics include Allergies: take meds at home, kids outside on grassy field, I do not have meds. Sunscreen: Apply at home or send in with student to apply them selves; school does not provide. Hydration & Snacks: reminder to eat good breakfast, hydrate (hot and muggy here), bring water bottle to refill. Extra clothing: during field day there are water activities, kids will get wet, send in extra clothing if you think your child will be uncomfortable when they return to air conditioned cold room. Inhalers/Neb medication: be sure to provide my office with inhalers and/or neb meds - never fails, I almost always have a handful of kids that wheeze, c/o SOB etc after participating in these events and never have issues during the rest of the year.
    This is a good idea...smarty pants!

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