The Importance of having completed medical forms and what to do with the information once you receive it.
So we recently started our new 10 week courses at Trampolining, and as we have expanded the class to include another trampoline, we had several new children enrol. As standard, I have printed copies of blank medical forms and these were immediately handed out to each child to go give to their parents as I took the register.
First impressions at this stage are important because I was already forming impressions of each child, checking off the name on the register with the child’s face and also handing them their first ever piece of responsibility. The child that looked blankly at me and allowed his sister to take the form for him, when he appeared to be the older of the two, was my first indication that he might not be ‘mainstream’. Following sister’s bee-line for her mum, mum and I had a quick chat where I asked “Is there anything I need to be aware of before we get started, any medical conditions, asthma or anything?” Mum said the boy was dyspraxic and none for sister.
BG Guidelines and the leisure centre policy is to be inclusive, and I’m more than happy to oblige, as far as I am able. I even have some experience coaching a group of 4 children who had dyspraxia a few years ago in a specialist class and it can be immensely rewarding seeing them link skills for the first time! At this point, mum was given a pen to fill in her emergency contact details etc on the form and we started with a round-up of the rules of trampolining before beginning the lesson. The class was divided roughly by experience and as the other coach has experience with dyspraxia too, I took the majority of the new kids, leaving her with the boy and his sister.
Personally I felt this would be a good balance, as the rest of her group would whizz through the warm up, leaving her time to focus on her two newbies and I would concentrate solely on ensuring everyone new on my trampoline learnt some of the basics together – demonstrating myself and using the most able child to do the skills first. I digress though…
The reason I’m writing this post is that after this first session, the medical forms came back – and there was a little more than “just dyspraxia” on the form. Oh dear. I felt awful, because as a coach I felt I was being incredibly responsible ensuring all medical forms went out in the first week and by checking with the parents there before the class started, and yet I’d still missed something! Fortunately after looking onto the rest of the information given, we determined that the child was safe to trampoline, but there are some disabilities that you should always get a Doctor’s note for, before allowing children on the trampoline.
So the moral of the story here is that you can’t always take a parent’s spoken word for it, and best practice for Medical Forms is to have them completed when the child is enrolled on a trampoline course, before they turn up for the class.