As much as possible, parents should try to avoid sending medications to the school for staff to administer. If a medication must be given, work with the child's pediatrician to try to avoid doses that would be required during the school day. For example, some medications have a long acting form that could be given before or after school as an option.
If your child must take medication during the school day, ask what the school is doing to prevent medication mix-ups.
Provide a picture of your child with any medications that must be administered during school hours to help promote proper identification.
If providing the school with medication equipment like inhalers or pens used to administer insulin or epinephrine, don't assume school staff know how to use it. Take the time to write out instructions and go over them with school staff.
Also, older children should receive basic information about medicines and their proper use, and know to question anything that doesn't seem right.
Parents should make sure that any changes in medications or dose, including discontinuation of medications, are immediately communicated to the school staff.
“Denursifying” of schools puts children at added risk of medication errors
According to the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, the layoff of 47 school nurses in December has led to medications being handed out to school children by “principals, gym teachers, counselors, community liaisons, secretaries, and even aides who normally monitor the playground.” By doing this, the Federation contends, the school district is endangering the lives of the school children it is required to protect.