Mum claims Larbert school used wrong thermometer to test pupils

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A mum says her disabled twins were put in isolation and told they had to stay off school for ten days because an unreliable thermometer gave a faulty reading.

The parent, who has two children in Kinnaird Primary’s Thistle Wing, says it is unacceptable that a forehead strip thermometer was the only thing available to staff when her children developed a rash at school.

The thermometer used to take the six-year-old twins’ temperatures gave a reading of 38 degrees – which triggered the school’s protocols to deal with Covid-19.

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It also sparked a nightmare for the twins’ mum who was phoned by the school at 1.30 pm to pick her children up.

Their dad was seriously injured in a motorbike accident and has a broken leg, pelvis and collar bone so is bed-bound and cannot drive at the moment.

Thinking her children had Covid-19 and frantically phoning friends and relatives to arrange transport, she couldn’t get to the school until 4.30 pm and arrived to find her daughter face down on the floor screaming.

She said: “I was in a panic and my daughter was so distressed that I was sure she was very ill.

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“They were in quite a small, hot room and my daughter in particular was very upset.

“I had my own digital thermometer with me so when we went outside, I took a reading – but it was only 36.6 degrees.

“I took their temperatures several times that night and the next day and it was perfectly normal.

“I spoke to the doctor and the rash disappeared within two days so I think it was just a sweat rash caused by it being a hot day.”

Puzzled by the difference, she looked online to investigate

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The NHS website clearly warns that forehead strips are not accurate and should not be used.

“They would be as well to flip a coin – heads it’s a fever, tails it’s not!”

The mum says she has lots of sympathy for the teachers at the school who are working very closely with very vulnerable children.

But she believes that had a more accurate thermometer been available the whole situation could have been avoided.

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“My children are non-verbal so they cannot tell me how they found the experience but they both have autism so routine and structure are very important.

“They both went back to school happily and what should have been an exciting, happy day turned into a horrible experience.”

“I don’t want to criticise the teachers at the school who do a great job – but I think it is ridiculous that they did not have such a vital piece of equipment.”

Schools will only allow pupils with suspected Covid back into the classroom if they take a test.

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“Because my children are disabled, I am not going to make them get a test.

“It’s very invasive and unpleasant and I know they just wouldn’t cope.

“So, despite the fact they have no symptoms, and I believe they never had a temperature, they are now going to miss ten days of school.”

She is calling for Falkirk Council to make sure that every school has a proper digital thermometer available and to make sure that forehead strip thermometers are not used.

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She also believes the protocols for very disabled children should be looked at carefully.

A Falkirk Council spokesperson said: “All school protocols were followed and the Health Protection team was advised of the situation.

“In any instance where a pupil feels unwell during the school day, parents are contacted to collect the child from school.”

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