Health and Medical Issues
Health and learning are inter-dependent. Educational success is a by-product of good health because when students are healthy they have the energy they need to focus on, absorb and enjoy lessons and classroom activities.
Ensuring that every student has the opportunity to be successful starts with accommodating their medical needs, as well as supporting parents with information and helping them gain access to medical care when required.
Below and on these pages you will find information about some of the ways TDSB addresses the medical needs of our students.
Ontario children are required by law to be immunized against measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, and polio, as well as for pertussis (whooping cough) before age six. Students between the ages of 14 and 16 require one needle for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. Learn more at Toronto Public Health.
Good vision plays an important role in a student’s ability to learn. It’s necessary to see the blackboard clearly, read a book and fully participate in class activities. Regular vision examinations are part of being ready for school.
The TDSB's Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists work to improve school performance for students with Physical/Health and Developmental disabilities. It's all about giving students the tools and skills they need to reach their full potential inside the classroom.
Students need effective communications skills to earn how to read, write and get along socially at school. About 10% of school-age children experience delays or disorders in developing speech and/or language. Speech-language pathology services enhance language learning and communication opportunities for students in school and at home.
Scented products have an impact on everyone. For most people, perfumed, scented or fragrant products are enjoyed, but for those who have asthma, allergies or environmental sensitivities, exposure can result in illness, absence from work and even hospitalization.
We want the TDSB to be a clean and safe environment for all of our staff, students and visitors. To help achieve that, the TDSB has launched a Scented Products Awareness Program encouraging the TDSB community to reduce the use of fragrances and scented products.
As many as 1.2 million Canadians may be affected by life-threatening food allergies and this number is increasing, especially among children. Currently, it is estimated that six per cent of children are affected by food allergies. This statistic translates into approximately 15,000 students in the TDSB.
The symptoms of allergic reactions vary in type and severity, from mild skin irritations and hives to breathing difficulties and loss of consciousness. The most severe reaction, called anaphylaxis, can be fatal.
Because allergic reactions are caused by a wide variety of foods it is difficult to ensure our children never come into contact with the allergen responsible for their condition. As a result empowering children with knowledge and understanding of their condition is the best way to prevent allergic reactions and deal with them safely and responsibly when they do occur.
Many schools are peanut-free zones to protect children with allergies. If your child is allergic to something that may be present in the school, or if your child needs to be given special medication throughout the day, speak to the principal to discuss arrangements.
Healthy nutritious food is an important part of maintaining good health for everyone. For students with diabetes, proper nutrition can mean the difference between a good day and a visit to the hospital. Managing Diabetes in Our Schools provides information to help school staff support these students and their families.
Every year, across Canada, people of all ages die of Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD). While in some cases, this is related to the presence of known congenital heart disease, SCD may be first sign that a child or adolescent has heart disease. The incidence of sports-induced heart attacks amongst young athletes has brought increased awareness of the importance of public access defibrillators.
Life-saving heart defibrillators are now available at every TDSB secondary school, outdoor education centre, and administrative site thanks to the generous donation by The Mikey Network, a non-profit organization working to create public awareness and provide education about heart-healthy lifestyles.
A healthy body image is often as important as a healthy body. Students are under increasing pressure to achieve an “ideal” body size and shape that is often unrealistic and can lead to a variety of eating disorders which are damaging to ones health and can even be fatal.