6 tips for sending medication to school with kids

6 tips for sending medication to school with kids

When your child needs medication at school – be it routine or in an emergency – knowing the steps to take to ensure staff are prepared can make all the difference. Vincent Dorsey, PharmD, an Advocate Children’s Hospital pharmacist in Oak Lawn, Ill., provides the following information to be sure your student remains healthy at school:

  1. Divide medication – Ask your pharmacist to divide your child’s medication into two separate bottles, one for home and one for school. Each bottle should have its own label.
  2. Medication labels – All medications should be brought to the school in their original containers. Bottle labels should include your child’s name, the name of the medication, the dosage to be administered and how frequently, the route of administration (oral, topical, injection, etc.), the name of the physician ordering the medication, the date of prescription and the date of expiration.
  3. Transport it to school – You or another trusted adult should directly deliver the medication to the school, unless you trust that your young one is mature and responsible enough to do it themselves.
  4. Carrying medication – Typically, your kid should not need to carry their medication during school hours unless you, their doctor or the school believe it is necessary. If that is the case, make sure your kid knows how to safely handle and administer their medication should an emergency arise.
  5. Consent forms – All prescription and nonprescription medications taken on school grounds require written authorization from your child’s doctor and written consent from you. Be sure to provide these two forms in the weeks prior to the start of school.
  6. Field trips – Check with your child’s doctor if medications can be taken at a different time. In addition, work with the school in advance to ensure they are prepared to administer medication during field trip hours.

College students – “When sending your teen away to school, make time to visit the health center and ask what kind of medical information they require for students and how to refill prescriptions. Be sure your young scholar is aware of the side effects of their treatments, when and how to take them and whether any certain foods or drinks may interact with them,” says Dr. Dorsey. Have your teen inform their resident advisor, roommate and college health staff on how to administer any emergency medications, should the occasion arise.

Ready for school? Find the first-available pediatrician near you and schedule your child’s check-up or physical online.

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  1. Thanks for this informative post. It covers a lot of the information that parents need, but there is one glaring omission: Please contact the school nurse and discuss the need and the medication with her. Also, parents should know who is administering the medication at school. According to the 2017 Illinois Nurse Practice Act, nurses should be administering medications in schools as they do in other settings. According to the IL State Board of Education, nurses can delegate the administration of medications to unlicensed persons, but the nurse must be the one deciding whether to delegate, to whom, when, and in what circumstances. It is an individual decision the nurse makes for each student.

  2. “College students – “When sending your teen away to school….”

    Exactly what is wrong with America today. College students are not “teens” as you are using the term here (yes, their age may be eigh”teen” or nine”teen”). They are adults. They should be responsible for their own medical needs. In fact, the health center will probably – in fact, should – tell you that they are unable to speak to you regarding your “teen” [sic] because of HIPAA laws.

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About the Author

Efua Richardson
Efua Richardson

Efua Richardson, health enews contributor, is a senior at Lewis University studying public relations & advertising. In the future, she hopes to work in entertainment, namely in the music industry. In her free time, she enjoys reading, scrolling through Instagram and trying new ethnic dishes. Among her talents is the ability to move her kneecaps in tune to music and wiggle her nose.