October 11, 2022

Protecting the vulnerable in our schools

Protecting the vulnerable in our schools

Kristen Jones
Farmer Staff Writer

Teddy Simons is a sweet and spunky six-year-old who loves to make his family laugh. Teddy brings a smile to the faces of everyone he meets. He has Down Syndrome and with that comes the unfortunate reality of being immunocompromised. This means that his body is unable to fight sickness and germs the way most people can.
“Teddy can’t fight off germs and colds like other kids. His body has to work so much harder,” his mom, Brooke Simons said.
Brooke works in the office at Fox Hills Elementary School and with three daughters in addition to Teddy, she is no stranger to kids and their germs. “When we first had Teddy, we tried to treat him the same way as the girls because we didn’t understand that his immune system wasn’t like a normal baby’s. Unfortunately, we learned really quickly that we needed to be extra careful to protect him from germs that were no big deal to the other kids,” Brooke recalled.
“I always worry when I see the sick kids at the school. There are parents who often send their kids to school sick, and it not only affects their learning, but the learning and health of the other kids as well. It is really hard to see kids come into the office to call home because the medicine they were given that morning has worn off and the fever they had last night is back. I always worry about them, but then, I always also have the lingering worry that their germs will get to Teddy or one of the other kids like him and it will mean a hospital trip,” Brooke said.

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