Drugs and Medication Advice for parents
The school has a very strict Drugs and Medication Policy. It is available on request. Here are the main points that parents and carers must know and co-operate with.
1. Daily medication
1.1 Medication, where possible should be managed at home. For example, if it is “3 times a day” this can easily be done at home, before and after school and then bedtime. This includes antibiotics.
1.2 No medicine or treatment is given to a child without written permission from their parents/carers. If the medication changes you need to get a new Permission Slip from school. Staff are trained on how to store, record and give medication including rescue. Any staff who have not yet had training will not be allowed to give it.
1.3 You must tell us about any medicines your child needs to take both in and out of school and of any changes to the prescription. You will need to complete and sign a medication Permission Slip for each medication your child takes within school. This permission will last for an academic year unless there are any changes to the prescription.
1.4 When you send medication in to school it must be in the original container, with the original label. The label must state child’s name, name of medication, date of dispensing (if no expiry date), expiry date, dose and frequency. If a bottle comes in a box please ensure that the pharmacist labels both the box and the bottle. If only the box is labelled we will ask you to supply a labelled bottle.
1.5 Do not transfer medicines from one container to another, only send us those given to you at the pharmacy / chemist. If tablets need to be halved or quartered you must give us a tablet cutter and we will use it only for your child.
1.6 You can be assured that all medicines are recorded and kept securely in a “staff only” locked cupboard in your child’s classroom. When staff give medication it requires two people to sign.
1.7 If your child brings a suitcase / bag into school with medication in it, eg to or from respite, you must tell the staff. The bag will then be locked away safely.
1.8 If a child refuses to take their medication staff will not force them to do so. We will record this and tell you it has happened.
1.9 If staff have any doubt about any procedures or instructions then they will check with parents or medical staff first before taking action.
1.10 You must make a note of the expiry date of medication and send us more before we run out. We will try to support you by giving you notice if we can but it is your responsibility. Please note if there is no expiry date on the prescription label or packaging it is because the pharmacist has dispensed the medicine from a large bottle. Medicines with no expiry date must be used within six months of the dispensing date, so you need to keep a note of that.
1.11 Medicines will not be given beyond their expiry date. Expired or unused medication will be sent home for you to return to a pharmacy for safe disposal.
1.12 Never put medication into your child’s school bag. It must be handed to the escort with clear instructions for safe transportation to and from school. The escort will hand it to school staff. We will do the same when sending it home.
1.13 It is vital that the school is informed of all the medication that your child it taking. This includes medication that may only be administered at home as well as any administered at school. In an emergency, paramedics and hospital staff will need this information.
2. Medication given through nasogastric or gastrostomy tube
2.1 This procedure may vary for individual pupils. Staff will follow individual feeding charts/care plans
3. Educational visits / out of school activities (school trips)
3.1 Staff will be responsible for signing medication out of school and administering it whilst on the trip.
4. Paracetamol/ibuprofen in school
4.1 We do not provide paracetamol/ibuprofen for general pupil use. We will give a child their own non prescribed paracetamol/ibuprofen but must have permission from parents/carers to do so. We will only give the dosage as indicated on the box, that matches a child’s age. If your child requires more than the recommended dose then we can only give this if it is prescribed by a doctor. We will also only give pain relief for 48 hours. If a child need paracetamol/ibuprofen for extended periods of time then this will need to be prescribed by a doctor.
4.2 If your child has already had paracetamol/ibuprofen before coming to school and you want us to give more you must tell us when and how much the last dose was. We will always tell you if your child has had paracetamol/ibuprofen in school.
5. Rescue medication
5.1 If your child has been prescribed rescue medication you must supply us with the labelled medication and make sure you have completed all the necessary forms and Care Plans. Each pre-filled syringe, as well as the container needs to be labelled. We ask for two prescribed doses to be kept in school. This is because a dose may get damaged and be unusable; or your child might require a second dose. There might some exceptions to this but it will be discussed with you.
5.2 For children who have rescue medication it is very important that we always have some of it in school. If your child comes to school and we do not have any of their rescue medication we will have to contact you straight away. You will either have to bring us the medication immediately or collect your child. If your child has a seizure before we get the medication from you we will follow their Epilepsy Plan and call an ambulance. Remember, it is your responsibility to make sure we always have the rescue medication in school. If we have no medication, your child will have to go home.
5.3 If we have to give rescue medication we will tell you what we have done. We will tell you if your child needs to be collected from school or if you need to meet him/her at the hospital if further treatment or monitoring is required.
5.4 If you have given your child rescue medication before s/he comes to school you must tell us, in writing, the time and the dose given. If a child has already had a dose before school and we give them a dose within 24 hours it is classed as a “2nd dose”. A “2nd dose” can only be given if prescribed by a doctor. If you do not tell us you have already given your child a dose before school, then your child will be given an extra dose. Remember, you must tell us, to prevent this happening. It will be your responsibility if your child has more doses than they should have. We will always tell you if we have given rescue medication in school.
6. Inhalers in school
6.1 It is extremely important that a child who has asthma or breathing difficulties always comes to school with their prescribed inhaler. You must give us a supply of inhalers for your child. You also need to make sure all the labels, consent forms and Care Plans are in place. Remember, a child without an inhaler will be sent home.
6.2 If your child uses a spacer we will ask you to give us one to keep in school. Spacers may need to be replaced 6 monthly/yearly dependent on the usage as valves may become blocked.
6.3 If we have to give your child their inhaler to use in school we will follow the Care Plan and let you know. You may be asked to collect your child from school or meet them at the hospital if further treatment or monitoring is required.
6.4 There are times when it is appropriate for a pupil to carry their own inhaler. Permission will be sought from parents/carers before this decision is made.
7.1 If your child is being treated for something that isn’t “catching” (ie other children may catch it), s/he may come in to school if s/he is well enough. The giving of antibiotics can usually be done at home. If it is for three times a day this can easily be done at home. If the prescription says more daily doses the school will decide if it can manage this.
7.2 If a child is being treated for something that is “catching” then they should stay at home until they are well. Please remember there are some very vulnerable children in school, who need to be kept away from infections as much as possible.
8. Suction Units
8.1 If your child needs suction during the school day their suction unit needs to come in to school every day, fully charged and free of secretions. It also needs to be in the original bag and clearly named. Please do not send in a plastic bag as they can tear or cause damage.
8.2 You need to supply a spare Yankauer / catheter to be kept in school for your child. The school does not carry spare parts and relies on you to provide all the equipment.
8.3 If you do not send in a full working suction unit we will contact you to bring in the missing parts so that your child can have suction. Your child will not be allowed to stay in school without the complete appliance. You will be asked to either collect your child or bring in equipment immediately. If, for example, a child’s breathing is compromised prior to the equipment being received, an ambulance will be called. Remember it is your responsibility to follow our policy and send in the right equipment.
9. Medication that may cause loose stools/diarrhoea.
9.1 Staff are aware that Movicol and other prescribed laxatives will mean that your child may have loose stools. We ask that you keep the school aware of when these have been administered at home, especially as an extra or increased dose. If your child is on any additional medication that could cause loose stools/diarrhoea, you must make the school aware of this by updating their list of medication and providing the information leaflet (from the medication) or a letter from you GP stating that loose stools/diarrhoea are a side effect. Staff may still act in the best interests of your child and their peers by asking you to collect them after a loose bowel movement. This would be for reasons such as; their stools are different from the norm even when on this medication, your child displays other symptoms such as a temperature, or if a number of pupils have had diarrhoea and we are unable to confirm if your child’s loose stools are a result of their medication or a bug. In this case we will follow Public Health guidance around the recommended period to be kept away from school, which is 48 hours from the last episode of diarrhoea. This is also the recommendation for cases of vomiting.