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School Age Children and Hep C

Do you have a school aged child with hepatitis C? More and more families are facing the harsh reality of childhood diagnosis of hep C.  Many are stemming from mothers who are addicted to drugs and are therefore passing hep C to their newly born babies.

“Can children have hepatitis C?”

I, personally, know several families within my foundation that have adopted children who have been diagnosed with hep C. Many of these families do not have the knowledge or understanding of what hep C is and are reaching out to organizations such as mine for guidance and assistance on what to do.

With the increase of opioid addiction in the United States, we are seeing a vast increase of babies being born infected with hepatitis C and various other serious illnesses due to this epidemic.

One family’s hep C battle

I had a woman (I will call her Diane) who reached out to the foundation with suggestions on how she can handle a situation at her daughters’ school. Her daughter is in the 1st grade and had just started a full day of school. In kindergarten, it was half days. Diane had not realized the impact having hep C would have on a young person having to face a full impact of a day. Her daughter came home during the first week very irritable, crying, throwing fits, and having outbursts that Diane could not explain. Her daughter had never really displayed these such actions in this degree before and it alarmed her. Trying to be compassionate, her daughter’s mood swings kept happening.  Diane was finding her daughter crashed in her bed most afternoons and barely waking up for dinner.

Diane contacted me and asked what I thought. Immediately, I put how I feel as an adult when I had hep C (and my end stage now) into thought. I explained that her daughter was suffering from information overload, meaning too much being thrown at her poor thought-process at one time during the day. Even though it is a normal classroom, you are not dealing with a child that has the full capacity to sit and focus. Brain fog and exhaustion were hitting this poor girl. She is required to perform in physical activities and possibly move at a pace her little body might not be able to handle right now. Remember, her body is fighting the effects of hep C: Fatigue, brain fog, exhaustion, irritability, and muscle & joint pain. To require this little girl to perform at a pace a healthy child is is not fair to her, nor is it to the teacher that might not be understanding what is wrong with her.

My advice for families

I suggested she go into the school and sit down with her teacher and school nurse. She should explain her daughter’s situation, symptoms, and be knowledgeable about what hep C is (and that it may create fear in the classroom if correct information is not given). See if there is any way (maybe during recess) that her little girl could lie-down and rest – Even if 15 minutes. This will jump start her body and give her stamina to continue the day. Ask that during this time, she be allowed to have a snack. This will replenish her body with nutrients and keep her hydrated. If an assignment is not finished in class, see if perhaps she could stay after class or even take home to finish and bring back the next day.

Asking and sharing what is going on within her little girl is the best thing she can do. Diane, after-all, is her daughter’s link to being the best she can considering what her body is fighting.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.