What can I do if school refuses to give child medication?

Many schools have started to refuse medication to students of all ages. What can you do if your child needs medicine while at school?

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28  Answers

28 11

I'm talking here as a mother and a nurse. First, like Nancy said: "please make sure that this medication truly *must* be given at school". Second: Do your school have a school nurse? Teachers are up to their noses with work, and belive me administering medications are not on their job list. They have no training in save ways of store medicines, administering medications and how to handle adverse reactions or overdoses. That's the nurse job. Giving the medicine to the child? All depends the age and the child. Mine are tire of watching me practicing dosifiaction for my classes at nursing school and now as a RN. My DD needed a topic medicine for an allergy, I showed her the way of autoadminister the medicine and AFTER she show me she can handle it safely, I wrote a note and talk with the teacher and everything went fine. She was 8y/o at that time. But this dosen't mean that any kid can do it. Third: Play with the dose administering time. If the drug (all medicines even over the counter (OTC) are consider drugs) is given every 6hrs or more give it BEFORE the child go to school. This way the next dose will be after school hours. If the drug is daily (once a day) also is recommended to administer it am (great before going to school). Every 4hrs? Then you will have to make a sacrifice and go to school during lunch time and administer it. Fourth: Don't be shy, talk to your doctor or health care provider. Try to find together a treatment choice that would fit your life style. A big problem with farmacology treatment is that patients dosen't follow it. A way to do it is checking alternatives that fits the unique needs of the patient and care giver ensuring this way that the patient follow completly the indications of the treatment. Fith: Is a cronic condition? Then, here you need TONS OF HEALTH EDUCATION. You have to educate yourself about the condition and how to handle it. Your child needs education about his/her condition and this should be done taking in consideration the child's age and abilities. Then you have to educate your child teachers about it. Many nurses can give a conference about the condition to the academic body and/or child peers. I have done it. Among the academic preparation of RN's and BSN's is on education plans. We are prepare to teach and orient patients/care givers/community about health issues. About the administering of medications in this case, talk with your Dr and ask that he gives you a note for the school about the need of the treatment and special considerations. This will be great.
Hope this can help you and that your child will get better soon.

7 6

It also depends on the location of the school. In both Arkansas and Alabama, it is illegal for the child to carry any kind of medication around, even Tylenol or Midol. Everything has to be given to the school nurse for administration. That makes it incredibly hard down here where several school share the same nurse. My question is how can they legally keep your child from carrying medication when there are not any nurses available most of the time?

15 3

It is the same here in Texas - at least in the districts I've been in over the past 33 years. In the small district where I work now, when there is not a nurse on campus (because ours all have 2 campuses except for the High School nurse), there is still one designated person who has had some training as a clinic aide. That training includes knowing when to call the nurse or EMS. The legal question, Mary, may fall back to the State level - not the district level... so in order to know how to effectively get your child's needs met, you need to get that question answered, that is: Is this *district* or *campus* policy, or is it *State* law? If it is State law, the district really has little choice in the matter Also, whether it is State law or District policy - although it creates an inconvenience for honest parents with children with honest needs - - - it also represents an attempt to help protect your child against someone else's less-monitored child who may bring inappropriate substances (mom's old pain killers, etc) to school and try to give or sell them to your child. Respectfully, Nanc

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16 0

A school can not refuse to give a child medication if it is perscribed. Is your child on perscription medications? If so, I think that could be considered medical negligence if he is in need of medication and someone at school is withholding his medication. This is why I am considering opening up a home school with a couple of other mothers close to me. This is just unacceptable.

49 22

There is such a thing as a 504.....it's a state level mandate for kids with medical and mental issues that MUST be addressed at the school level. It clearly states medical reasons for administering meds and any special circumstances that particular child may have. I encourage you to contact you state school board and check into it. You did NOT say if it was Dr prescribed, or for something such as headache. If it's medically necessary, a 504 will help protect you!

78 20

Your school principal should know how to write and implement a 504 plan. My daughter's 504 plan was written by her principal while they were working on the IEP testing and writing the IEP to protect her from being punished for normal behavior for her condition. She doesn't take medication, but until she'd been in OT for a few months, she would spin when she was bored, and that would draw the teacher's ire.

2 21

IN CANADA: If the medicaton is prescribed by a Dr and is in the original container issued from the pharmacy with the instructions as to administration, then you can bring the medication into school, they will have a special form with permission for them to administer the prescription to your child, and they will give the medication to your child in the dose that has been prescribed.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Usually schools do not administer over the counter such as Advil for a fever, they will simply call you to pick your child up and take the child home if the fever reaches above a certain temp. HOWEVER, in certain circumstances and dependant on the school or daycare's policies they will administer over the counter. So in my case, my 3 year old son has Febrile Seizures. When I enrolled him in daycare this was a great concern of mine. What if he started to spike a fever and I was at work and unable to get to him quickly, what then. So I discussed my concerns with the daycare and they agreed to administer the Advil, but I had to get a note from the Dr stating the dose of the Advil and at what temp to administer the dose to him, in addition to, I also had to provide an un-opened box of the medication with the note and also had to fill in and sign the permission form that they have giving them permission from me to give him the medicine.

1,347 130

Here (in the UK) the rules are simple, for short term medication eg antibiotics, kids are usually off school, otherwise why would they be having them, for long term medications doctors are good at prescribing regimes that avoid the need to be administered during school time, however where there are children with conditions such as type one diabetes or epilepsy a member of staff, is trained in emergency adminstration of drugs, but kids are taught from a young age to actually administer the preventative medications themselves under supervision from the appointed person. My daughter has needed to take medication and she simply goes to the office where its kept, they give her water and she takes her tablet. There are school nurses but as they cover many schools, asking them to essential watch a 10 year old take a tablet is not high on their list - but I I said the school's first aiders are all trained in epipen, insulin and anti seizure meds, the most common conditions kids in mainstream school need hep with.

210 39

don't think the schools around here (NE coast of England) have school nurses any more. Our son is due to start school nursery in a few days, and we've been informed that any prescribed medication HAS to be given by parents (guessing it's so theres no chance of dispute/legal action, as well as the lack of school nurses and pressure on other school staff). the info we got said to try to arrange times of meds for before and after school, and if that wasn't possible then we have to go into school to give the meds. Not quite sure what would happen if a child had a condition that meant they HAD to have meds during school hours on a regular basis, especially if the parents work a distance from the school

67 14

In my sons school, life saving medication such as asthma inhalers etc, are allowed to be administered,
but medicine such as antibiotics, pain killers etc, are not allowed to be given by a member of staff.. although the parent may come into the school to give it to the child.

4 2

My children's school in the UK now only gives medicines for long term illness like Asthma. I agree with this as many parents were abusing the system and asking the school to administer Calpol or antibiotics so they could send their children into school ill rather than have to take a day off work. If a child is having to take Paracetamol or antibiotics throughout the day, they are not well enough to be in school. These days, parents often see school as an extension of their childcare rather than for education. This attitude just spreads the germs around!

118 13

Here in Okla. the schools provide a form for your child's doctor to fill out for any prescribed medication the child may need to take or carry on their person during school hours. Yes, they must be in the orginal bottle or box with the dosage info. I can understand if a school doesn't want to give Asprin, Ibu's, Tylenol etc...if the said child has a reaction they have put themselves in the position of being sued.

23 16

that would be difficult if not impossible to enforce. There is already a nurse on staff to dispense and depending om what kind of medication it is I cant see how that is legal. There are diabetic children, asthmatic kids etc...that would possibly need immediate medication to save their life if there were an incident. That would have to be on hand for urgency., where are they going to draw that line of not providing medical assistance to other kids. They can't and if a doctor prescribed it - the school (if it is a public school) has to dispense.

42 17

Not sure if it's true everywhere but here in Seattle I'm pretty sure most of the schools do not have a nurse on staff every day...part of budget cuts...

13 0

Under 504 the schools MUST give medication (rx) that is medically needed at school. It usually the school nurses that give it.

2 0

if all else fails...drive there and do it yourself...

5 2

Legally the school is not in a postion to administer Medication. Depending on the reasons for med's, any program encluding a drug and rehab place requires a licenced Nurse to administer med's. They do have traveling nurses that you should be able to come to the school at the scheduled times and give the med's that they bring with them. this requires meeting with the school staff and yourself and the sellected nurse . There would even have to be a health IEP created about the rules and med's and nurses coming to do the admin of med's.
My sister who is a RN has a daughter that has a fever disorder she had this same problem. she was given meds that were strong that started havac on the immune system, the school had a great deal of issues with implementing the health IEP , It was a constant effort of meetings, you have to stay on top of things but it can be done..

236 440

If this is true in all states, then it sounds to me that schools are not an appropriate place for kids with medical conditions. In my state, at least, there are school nurses who are there to administer medications. I had horrible allergies growing up and sometimes had to have my meds while at school. In fact, I had to keep my inhaler with me, because if I quit breathing out on the playground, by the time they brought it to me or an epi-pen to me, I might have had permanent damage or even died. Given that one of my nephews was denied his medication at school for his ADHD and autism and then had a meltdown for which they attempted to suspend him, I don't trust the government schools with my kids. I've seen how they treat my nephew, and my kids would go to that same school.

15 3

First, and I mean no offense by this but am trying to give an honest and helpful response -please make sure that this medication truly *must* be given at school for your child's sake as opposed to parental convenience. If it is actually essential, ask the doctor to write a letter of medical necessity for the medication to be given during school hours, including an explanation of why to help forestall objections. Frequently for medications such as antibiotic it isn't actually essential that it be given at school, but is instead more for the convenience of the parent. Think of it this way, if you would - do you really want a medication that isn't absolutely essential to be given at school when the nurse may not be in the clinic full-time and a receptionist with only high school diploma is having to greet people, answer the phone, sign kids out and visitors in, oh, and administer medications to dozens of kiddos, some of which medications could be dangerous for the wrong child?

I've worked in schools for 32 years as a teacher, counselor and am now an educational diagnostician, and I know there are times that meds really need to be given at school and the school should honor that. I'm sure laws for each state differ but in Texas, if we have a doctor's note and the meds are in the original container, the meds will be given at school - we have children with serious allergies or seizures that have pen/injections that may need to be given, kiddos with juvenile diabetes, asthma, ADHD/ADD/Tourette's - that all take medications at school. If your doctor is saying that the medications must be given during the time your child is at school, get him/her to put it in writing, and that should help.

Hope you find this of some use :)

5 0

Get him on an IEP for "Other Health Impairment." Have a medical/health report that indicates exactly what med and when it needs to be given. They MUST have the RN or health aide carry it out. If they won't qualify him b/c it's not a serious condition then make them do a section 504 (of the ADA ) reasonable accommodation plan to give the med. Get an advocate if needed.
Dr DeLaCroix, Cerebral Fitness Inc

1 0

where r u ?
I live in canada and sometimes when there are agencies that would send a nurse to administer medications or stay with the child if necessary for a period of time. So if there is a service like that in ur area I hope is cover under ur benefits. But it is true schools usually have a nurse on staff, I believe they are requiered to.

0 0

If you childs school refuses to give them their meds that are to be admin. during school hours such as after lunch ect. you can get a note from the school nurse that your doc has to fill out so they have to admin. the meds. This usually is the way for short term meds. As for long term meds your best chance would be to call a meeting with the nurse, teacher and school principal and ask for a 504 plan this plan allows you as the parent along with tthe childs doctors suggestions to set the rules that the school has to abide by when it comes to your child. If this does not work go straight to the schools district office and complain that will def. work!

22 11

I am a classroom teacher and was faced with this situation through a colleague. A student who was ill came back to school on doctor's advice the parent took a medication to the teacher instructing her to give her child a certain dosage at a certain time for the day. it had to be kept in the fridge.
Unfortunately, the teacher forgot and the student got sick at home after school. The parent sued the teacher and it went to court. She had to pay $30,000 or go to prison for 30days.
We rallied round and helped with the money. The ministry of Education made it mandatory that any child who is sick stay at home until cured and teachers are not to accept them either till they are better.
The is just one case of why schools refuse to do so in my country.

0 1

Not entirely sure,but my personal view is that the school during the hours of 8am - 3pm take on the role as parent & are responsible for our kids health & safety during this time,as well as education.Our son aged 7yrs old had been feeling unwell ALL DAY but did'nt tell his current teacher because he thought she would'nt do anything about it either, as his previous teacher/teachers ignored him,Brodie is not a child to cry wolf !

363 40

When I had to take medicine at school, I took it with me in my backpack. I only ever had to take it after school, but still had to bring it with me since I did a lot of after-school activities. No one besides the people at those activities ever knew. I guess if you don't have to bring it up, then just don't. If it's a pill, put a small pill case in your kid's pencil box and tell them to take it in the bathroom between classes. If it's a liquid, put it in their lunch box (this is assuming the child is in elementary school), since mostly it's advised that you eat or drink when taking medication.

4 1

To my knowledge if your child has a prescription the HAS to give it to them. I know in our local school district you have to leave the medicine and a Doctor's note at the office and when the child needs to take the medicine they have to go to the office and take it there and then.

79 37

The only thing you can do is go into the school or have somebody go into the school to give the medication.

42 17

You can bring it to school and give it to them...or keep child home until feeling better...

7 25

if it's antibiotics or antihistermine go in to school and give it your self if it an inhaler or an epi pen tell them to 999/911 and ask for an ambulance to take the child to hospital to administer

130 1

How often does your kid need the meds? If it's just once during the school day, just stop by the school and give your kid the meds personally.

1 0

I was told that by law if your child has to take meds during school hours, the Dr. has to give a hand written note or the school should have a form that can be filled out by the Dr. and faxed to the school. The schools here require the written authorization but they are not allowed to deny meds being administered to your child.

5 5

make sure you have a dr's note at the school with the right dosage of medication...my daughter has migraines and she has the meds at school with a doctors note...but I have asked them to call me when she comes to get one...she is in HS...if they refuse I would go up the channels of command...nurse, VP, Principal, then the go to the district office and so on until you get what you want...you need to learn to work the system

27 0

My son receives medication at school before he eats. He needs it to digest his food properly. Other than that we try to keep all his medications (and he is on quite a few) isolated to home if possible.

20 31

I always try to give his medications before he leave to school. I had never have any problems with the school nurse they are always in contact if he needs to take anything. I dont see how is that possible unless the school want to suit, they are kids that suffer from asthma, diabetes, allergies different situations, I dont see how and why any school wants to refuse to give a child medications, my son have a pharmacy in school just bcause is asthmatic, and suffer from allergies.

7 46

Usually when my child get sick at school.The school officials or the nurse on duty will call me and to let me know that my child is not feeling well or is in big trouble bothering at the class.
As far as Im concern; my 9 yrs old was born healthy and normal.
He doesnt have any disability.
Everyone treated him fairly as normal human being even he seem still young and re-responsible.

from a house wives circles of moms:

36 0

yes, yes and no. yes we have the forms and my diabetic daughter has indeed as action plan in place which must be renewed each year. she is allowed to dose herself with insulin and take blood readings whenever she needs, wherever she is. she may even eat in class if necessay. we have insulin and syringes stored in the office and they offer juice/snack if needed. But when it comes to her rescue injection, her glucagon pen which we were told to always have with us, and is to be used if she were to pass out...may only be administered by the nurse. I know, you are thinking, ok...except due to cost cutting we only have a nurse one half day/week at school. They have promised to call 911 and have assured us that they are very prompt in coming...3min or so. Epi pens may be administered by any staff present... I have asked if one could sign a paper to have any staff administer it with our blessing, but no. To the kind idea that one should simply call 911 and let them administer rescue meds...would you see a child at the bottom of the pool and call 911 to fish them out? It is the same idea..and yes, after rescue med administration they still need medical attn..immediatly. I was told the same was true for diastat for siezures...I think their fear of liability is misleading them and have wondered if litigation is the only thing to correct this oversight. I think as a country we are entirely to apt to sue..that said should we wait for one of our kids to pass out from low blood sugar (which can lead to siezures, brain damage and even death) and suffer serious damage? An extreme statement I know. As to antibiotics, pain meds, etc...you do realize that kids can get in real trouble dosing themselves? If someone were to see them taking an unknown pill...they could end up expelled for drug possesion. (and god forbid they gave and asperin to a friend...) Seriously I am not as confident as you all seem to be that schools know how to handle this issue or that reason has much to do with it.

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