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John Hunter Hospital School

John Hunter Hospital School

School, Family, Community

Telephone02 4985 5090

Information for teachers

Cystic fibrosis does not affect the student's intellectual abilities. Every child will have different academic capabilities, unrelated to cystic fibrosis.

Hospitalisation for intravenous antibiotics is a part of treatment for many patients with cystic fibrosis, although the frequency is different for each individual. Most large paediatric hospitals have a hospital school that will arrange to continue the work the student is doing at the school he or she usually attends.

During periods of prolonged high temperatures, students with cystic fibrosis:

  • may be more tired and have difficulty concentrating
  • may need to be excused from physically strenuous exercise in hot weather.

Complications of cystic fibrosis can include asthma, diabetes, liver disease, sinus disease, delayed puberty and reproductive issues.

Did you know

Cystic fibrosis is sometimes called '65 roses'. The nickname came from a little boy who overhard his mum talking about the conidition on the phone. He though that each time his mum said 'cystic fibrosis', she was talking about 65 roses.

Supporting students at school

  • Ensure the student with CF does not sit near or do group work with students who may have infectious respiratory conditions e.g. colds.
  • Students with CF require a medical plan. This plan needs to be displaced or stored in an appropriate position in accordance with the school health care policy.
  • Provide an area where the student can have physiotherapy during the school day if necessary.
  • Be aware the student, parents and family may be experiencing additional stresses as a result of ongoing treatments e.g. hospitalisations, daily physiotherapy.
  • Monitor and modify physical activities and tasks as required by the curriculum.
  • Be aware the students may be teased by peers because of his/her persistent cough, small stature and/or the need to take medication with food.
  • With the parents and student's signed permission talk to class members about CF and explain why the student is taking medication.
  • Understand the dietary requirements of a student with F. He/she will require more calories than a routine healthy diet would incorporate. Diets need to be high in fat, protein, slat and calories. Children with CF will often be encouraged to eat foods like chips, lollies, hamburgers, biscuits, butter and cream.
  • It is important children with CF take their enzymes capsules before eating at recess and lunch time.
  • Watch for signs of depression and refer the student to the school counsellor/welfare person.
  • If possible, ensure the student is in an environment that maintains a constant temperature and humidity.
  • Be aware the student may need regular bathroom visits outside normal school breaks.
  • Students with CF require frequent access to drinking water.
  • To minimise infections regular basic hygiene should be encourage e.g. hand washing, using antibacterial hand gels, etc.

Additional information

Download and read the factsheets below: