Are Schools Forgetting to Give Kids Their Medicine?
Kids who take prescription medication while at school are often given incorrect doses, sometimes even missing an entire day’s worth of treatment, a recent study reports. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Iowa, found that nearly half of the 649 U.S. school nurses surveyed reported medication errors in their school in the past year. The most common error was a missed dose, but other slip-ups included giving an overdose or double dose, giving medicines without authorization and giving the wrong medicine.

For these reasons, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urges parents, doctors and school nurses to work closely together to avoid such potentially harmful mistakes. Answers to questions such as where the medication will be stored, who is responsible for the medication, and who will carry the medication for field trips should be defined in advance in order to maintain medication security and safety while ensuring timely treatment.

Don’t Forget to…
Make sure your child is given the proper medication and dosage at school. Here are some helpful strategies from the AAP and Medco Health Solutions, a subsidiary of Merck & Company:

  • Retain original containers. Many school districts require this. Ask your pharmacist to split your child’s prescription into two bottles and to label one for school and one for home.

  •  Inform your child. She should know when, where and from whom she’ll be receiving the medication at school. Another safeguard is to provide your child with a card containing all pertinent information that she can carry in her pocket or stow in her lunchbox.

  • Know the rules. Find out who is authorized to give your child medications. Each district has its own policy. Remain in regular contact with that person.

  • Push the paper. In addition to standard health and emergency forms, provide the school nurse with a specific request for the medication to be given plus information on the condition being treated, potential adverse reactions and storage requirements.

Further Reading
For more on keeping your kids safe and sound at school, check out these: