Weighing the Pros and Cons of Sending My Son Back to Preschool

Keara Engle avatar

by Keara Engle |

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A few months ago, I had to make the hard decision to pull my 4-year-old son, Cayden, out of his preschool class. It wasn’t easy because I knew how much he enjoyed it. At the time, though, his health was at stake.

Cayden has infantile-onset Pompe disease, which affects him in a multitude of ways. Last year, he kept getting severely sick with pneumonia and respiratory syncytial virus. Due to his Pompe disease, he can’t fight off these illnesses easily. Once they reach his lungs, it’s tough for him to recover. He was hospitalized for months at a time.

This affected both of us in many ways. It wasn’t easy for his little body to fight off illnesses time and time again. It also wasn’t easy for my mental health each time we thought he would get to come home, only to end up sick and back in the hospital again for a long time.

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Thankfully, Cayden’s lungs and immune system seem like they have gotten stronger in the past few months. He’s had a few colds here and there, and even pneumonia again. However, he didn’t need to be hospitalized this time. Instead, he was able to manage the illnesses at home with the help of antibiotics and extra breathing treatments.

His breathing treatments consist of nebulizer, cough-assist, and suction machines. Cayden does these breathing treatments daily, but we do them more frequently when he is sick.

With summer approaching, his doctors and therapists brought up the topic of preschool for the next school year. I’ve given it a lot of thought, and ultimately, I think it’s a great idea. Preschool can be so beneficial for young children. Cayden is smart, but there’s always room for improvement. I want him to be as prepared as possible to start kindergarten when he turns 5 next year.

I believe that social interaction with other kids will be good for him, too. At home, it’s just us all day. He does have an infusion nurse and home-based therapists who come a few days a week, but that’s it. Sometimes he seems so bored. I try to play with him, but it’s not quite the same as getting the chance to play with other children his age.

Although I worry about him getting sick again when he returns to preschool, I think he will be fine. Cayden is a lot more willing to wear a mask these days, which is a good way to keep the germs away. I’m not sure if this will be a requirement for his preschool, but I’ll ask that they do their best to make sure he keeps his mask on every day.

He also got into the habit of using hand sanitizer, especially when we are out and about in public. With the combination of masking and clean hands, I’m hopeful we’ll be able to prevent any illnesses from reaching him.

We have a few weeks to decide, but as of now, I’m ready to say yes. I remember how much he loved going to preschool last year, and I have no doubt he will enjoy it just as much this year.

Note: Pompe Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pompe Disease News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Pompe disease.


Roiberta Yancey avatar

Roiberta Yancey

As a former 1st grade teacher I am saying the class room is a petri dish filled with GERMS. I washed the desks, door handles, tables and other surfaces off with lysol daily. The kindergarten was the same with constant colds. Ask a new teacher how often they are sick.


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