Taking Medications at School

With rates of chronic illnesses such as asthma and ADHD on the rise, many children require medications during the school day. But in a time of budget cuts, not all schools have a nurse supervising the prescription cabinet. Knowing how and when your child will be receiving medications is paramount in ensuring safety.

Your child’s school should have protocols in place to prevent medication errors. In order for medications to work properly, they must be given consistently and at the right times. Go over your child’s schedule and dosage with whomever will be on dispensing duty. Ask questions such as where medication will be stored, who is responsible for the medication, and who will carry the medication for excursions.

Safety Tips for School Meds
Make sure all medications are in their original packaging with labels.
Deliver the medications to the school yourself.
If there is an excursion on the schedule, ask the pharmacist to provide the appropriate dose in a separate container fully labelled.
Stay in close contact with the school. Make sure they have a way to contact you, your child’s paediatrician and your child’s pharmacist.
If there is a change in your child’s prescription, give verbal and written notice.

Talk to your child about why he or she is taking the medication, when the medication should be taken, and who will be giving it out. Make sure your child knows to speak up if the medication handed over doesn’t look like his or her usual pill.

Be prepared to provide a statement from your child’s paediatrician. Since over-the-counter medicines and herbal preparations have effects similar to prescription drugs, the school may require a doctor’s note for them as well.

If your child is older and responsible, he or she may be allowed to self-medicate. This is particularly important for prescription medications such as albuterol for asthma and insulin for diabetes. But there can be serious consequences of sharing medications with classmates or misusing a prescription drug. Be sure to go over these dangers with your child.

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