Asthma UK community forum

Not allowed to wear coats at playtime??!

Hi everyone

My 8 year old daughter is the asthmatic in our family and she has just started school. Previously we home schooled her. One of the many bizarre rules at her school is that the children are not allowed to wear their coats/jackets outside at playtime. I've been trying to ring the school today to find out why but, for some reason, I'm getting an answerphone:~/

Does anyone know if this is normal practice? She already takes singulair and Seretide 50 together with medications for her multiple allergies and is needing her ventolin inhaler most playtimes now and I can only imagine this will get worse as the weather gets colder. It is very cold and extremely windy where we live today and I can't help but worry what the cold wind must be doing to her chest!

Any input very welcome.

Jacqui Mac (not ashamed to be an over-anxious mother)

12 Replies

We have been through this at my daughters school and it took quite a while for me to get the message through to the Head about how the cold/damp can affect my daugters chest.

They said it had been done for 2 reasons 1- it takes the kids too long to get the coats on/off and 2)some coats were quite long and causing accidents.

So i basically said that a my daughters coat was not long enough to cause such an accident and b- if need b she would go in a minute or towo early to put her coat away!!

Finally she relented and if needed the kids acn wear coats.

If i was you i would write and voice your concerns and keep pestering them until they relent , if need be get a letter from your GP /cons to back u up.


Thats rediculous! What about when it is really cold and frosty? The school I did my last teaching practice at allowed time before and after playtime and before home time to get coats on and make sure they were done up properly etc. What a silly rule!


Sounds absolutely bonkers. What do they do in winter, for pity's sake? Let the kids get hypothermia?

I'd have no hesitation in having a good moan about this! Sounds daft. And yes, that is a properly scientific, medical term ;)



I have never heard of a school doing this how crazy. As a mother of an asthmatic daughter and being a Teaching assistant myself i actively encourage the children in my care to wear their coats.

Good luck when you do finally get through to the school.



Jacqui, I would go to the school in person and ask them. or write a note. Then I would ask your GP to do a note to say your daughter needs to keep warm and go in and hand it over to make sure it gets there. I know some schools now frown on scarves but you can get those tube thingies in places like millets that are useful for putting over the mouth to keep the cold air out. If that fails I would have no hesitation in contacting the local media, if it is too cold for your daughter to be out you also have legitimate reason to keep her off school for her own safety I am not saying you should do that, I would try the other things 1st but frankly they should be allow your daughter to wear her coat.



Jacqui Mac (not ashamed to be an over-anxious mother)

are they MAD!!

Ditto to everything that's already been said.

What a joke - can i ask do the teachers/assistants who supervise playtime stand outside without thier coats/jackets!!!! I bet not!!!

Give them hell.



Well, I spoke with the school who now say they have no policy about the wearing of coats and children can if they want to but seem to choose not to. This isn't what my daughter was told!

So now I drop her off every morning with the words ""Put your coat on at playtime!"" firmly inplanted (or nagged mercilessly, depending on your perspective;~) in her head. A friend who passes the school when taking her nipper to playgroup checks that my girls doing as she was told. I've also had to remind her class teacher that she really must wear her coat if they don't want her attendance record to be blighted and I send a note every Friday when it's swimming to remind the teacher that K must take her Ventolin before she gets in the pool! Something that so far has been 'overlooked'.

It makes me so angry. They were given full details of her medical background, including the fact that she has multiple allergies, when we registered her but the attitude is ""Oh, we've got lots of children with nut allergies here. We're quite used to it."" which may be very well but my girl doesn't have nut allergies. She is allergic to a multitude of other things that make her ill on a daily basis which is isn't the same thing.

Sorry. Turning into a rant:~/

Many thanks all for your input/support.

Jacqui Mac


We have the opposite No coat no outside play!


my daughters school has a daft rule that if you cannot do p.e. you still have to sit outside in your shorts and t-shirt even if its freezing


Update though slight OT

It's some time since I posted this thread and I thought it might be worth a quick line to update you all.

We took my daughter out of school again in December. From the start it was clear her health was suffering and this just got worse as time went on. We had almost constant tummy ache, nausea, headaches and she developed small but nasty patches of eczema on her face. By the time we deregistered her she was pretty much close to collapse. In hindsight we are fairly sure that there was something in her packed lunches she is allergic to and we have an appointment with our allergist on Friday for more skin tests. Since removing the suspect foods from her diet she is back to her normal self.

We had issues with the school about the way they managed her allergies. On a bad day dd would present herself to the reception desk (which is as close as they have to a medical room) where the staff attitude was ""All children claim to have tummy ache when there is a class they want to get out of"" which certainly wasn't true. Or, on one occasion, we were called to bring my daughter home because she was so poorly and I was told that one member of staff decided that tummy ache and nausea probably meant she's missed breakfast and gave her malted milk biscuits. Not a good move for a child they were told is allergic to milk and wheat. The school say that dd was asked if she could have the biscuits but, ask a child if they can have a biscuit and mums not there to censor them, then they will say ""Yes"" even if that isn't true!

There were also issues with the other children bringing in chocolate for class members on their birthdays. No effort was made to notify me so I could replace a fun size Mars with something less likely to make dd ill. So she just got sicker and sicker. And taking her out seemed the better option. And certainly the safer one.

Thanks to everyone for their input on this one. You are a fabulous bunch:~)



Hi, jacquimac,

just been looking threw some threads and seen this one looking very interesting... Sorry to hear that you have had to change schools and hope the new school manages to be better for looking after the needs of childrens heath and manages teh situation better when children do report they are feeling ill.....



I was disgusted with your daughter's school after reading your posts!! I registered to the forums so i could reply! :)

The way her situation has been handled at school is awful. I'm so sorry that this has happened to you and your daughter, I hope everything is better now.

I am a teacher of a year 1 class and i always insist they put their coats on to go outside. It makes me cross to think that there are teachers out there who don't bother with things like this for the children in their care.

Plus, the way her situation with her inhaler before swimming has been ignored by the teacher is dreadful. I can only hope things are better for you now.

Helena xxx


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