As the school year is fast approaching, many will face the tough challenge of learning how to manage their medicine at school. If your child has a medical condition that requires them to use it during the school day, it is important, as a parent, to know how this medicine will be managed.
Firstly, familiarize yourself with the school medicines policy. If you are still unclear on how to handle this matter, contact the school through email or phone for a meeting. You may be asked to supply a letter that has been completed by your child’s doctor.
It is important to discuss the details of the management of the medicine with your child’s teacher and any other staff they may meet. Such details include how to safely store the medicine, how to administer it, what happens in a case of an emergency, who to contact
While some children may be confident in their ability to manage their own medicine, others may not be able to. If you child can administer and carry their own medication, be sure to discuss that with the school and the staff.
What you should know about your child’s medication
1. Never give your child more medicine than they are prescribed. For example, if your child has an infection and has been instructed to take 2 tablets of amoxicillin daily, it is not appropriate to give them more even if they are still not feeling well. Medication and their instructions are especially tailored to fit your child’s needs and history. A certain dosage is determined through examining your child’s weight, ages, and many other factors
2. Always check the expiry date on your child’s medication. If it expired or it is not your child’s medication, do not give it to your child. You can return unused or expired medication to your pharmacy.
3. Do not give aspirin to your child, it has been linked to Reye’s Syndrome. This is a condition that is known to cause swelling in the brain and liver damage.
4. If you are unsure of any medication, contact your pharmacist or doctor to clarify.
5. Store the medication according to the label. For example, Ozempic, a medication to control blood sugar, needs to be stored in the fridge (not the freezer). Other medications such as Tylenol or levothyroxine can be stored in a dry area, at room temperature. It is important to keep medications out of reach of children. Most medications prepared by your pharmacy (unless otherwise specified) are kept in a child proof bottle.
6. Keep a record of any medications your child has taken in the past or is currently taking. This not only will keep you organized when meeting with your child’s doctor but will also be useful information to someone who might care for your child at school or in daycare.
7. You should never refer to your child’s medication as something it is not. For example, do not call it candy or something yummy to get your child to use it. It is important that your child understands that it will make them feel better, but that it should be treated with responsibility.
Written By: Penny Liu