Back to School Tip #6: Medication
Regardless of whether your child takes medication only at home or takes medication in school, there are steps to take to protect their safety.
For Children Taking Medication Only at Home
If your child is changing schools this year, do you know for sure whether their medical records and notes you may have sent the school nurse about side effects or concerns have been forwarded to the new school? Although some school records do transfer, don’t assume that medication records transfer. Find out who in the district and/or building you should contact with information about your child’s current medications and then send in a note informing them what medication your child is on, what time they it is taken, and any side effects your child experiences.
Even if your child is not supposed to take medication in school, if you think you may occasionally forget to give your child their pre-school dose of medication, send in a supply in a labeled prescription bottle that has your child’s name on it with the name of the physician and dose. Include a prescription or letter from the physician that authorizes the school to administer the morning dose if you should call to say that your child missed the morning dose.
Some parents prefer not to tell the school about any medications the child takes only at home. That is an individual decision and I understand both sides of the issue, but let me remind parents that if anything ever happens at school and your child is transported to an Emergency Room or is unconscious and cannot communicate, someone in the school or district should know what medication(s) your child has ingested so that emergency medical personnel can be informed.
For Children Who Take Medication During the School Day
Contact the school nurse (or district nurse if there is no nurse in the building) to inquire what records the new building will have on your child’s medications. Find out who will be responsible for giving your child the medication, and then contact them to ask whether they call the classroom to send your child down if your child forgets to go to them. Be sure to send in the medication in a labeled pharmacy bottle with a prescription from the physician authorizing them to administer the medication.
Throughout the School Year
Keep the school apprised of changes in your child’s medication, even if it is taken only at home. If you do not want the teacher to know about a particular change because you want to see if they detect any change if they do not know there’s been a medication change, that’s fine, but be sure to let the school nurse know and just ask the nurse not to tell the teacher unless there appears to be a problem from the new medication.