Administration of Medication
The policy as outlined was put in place to:
- Safeguard school staff who are willing to administer medication
- Ensure the strictest guidelines and controls are in place and that clear instructions are available to staff
- Protect against possible litigation
Relationship to School Ethos:
The school promotes positive home-school contacts, not only in relation to the welfare of children, but in relation to all aspects of school life. This policy is in keeping with the school ethos through the provision of a safe, secure and caring school environment and the furthering of positive home-school links.
Aims of this Policy:
The aims and objectives of the policy can be summarised as follows:
To minimise health risks to children and staff on the school premises
To fulfill the duty of the BoM in relation to Health and Safety requirements
To provide a framework within which medicines may be administered in cases of emergency or in instances where regularised administration has been agreed with parents/guardians
In –School Procedures:
Parents are required to indicate a health/medical condition (e.g. asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, anaphylactic shock syndrome, etc.) when enrolling their child/children in the school or at the development of any serious medical condition at a later date.
No teacher is obliged to administer medicine or drugs to a pupil (CPSMA Management Board Handbook 2007). However, any teacher willing to do so works under the controlled guidelines outlined below.
Prescribed medicines will only be administered after parents of the pupil concerned have written to the BoM requesting the Board to authorise a member of the teaching staff to do so (See Appendix 1). Under no circumstance will non-prescribed medicines be either stored or administered in the school. The Board will seek indemnity from parents in respect of any liability arising from the administration of medicines
The school generally advocates the self administration (e.g. inhalers) of medicine under the supervision of a responsible adult, exercising the standard of care of a prudent parent. No medicines are stored on the school premises. A small quantity of prescription drugs will be stored in a locked filing cabinet in the School Office if a child requires self-administering on a daily basis and if parents have requested storage facilities. Parents are responsible for the provision of medication and notification of change of dosage.
Medication in this policy refers to medicines, tablets and sprays administered by mouth only.
In the event of an emergency, teachers should do no more than is necessary and appropriate to relieve extreme distress or prevent further and otherwise irreparable harm. Qualified medical treatment should be secured in emergencies at the earliest opportunity.
Where no qualified medical treatment is available, and circumstances warrant immediate medical attention, designated staff members may take a child into Accident and Emergency without delay. Parents will be contacted simultaneously.
In addition, parents must ensure that class teachers are made aware in writing at the beginning of each school year of any medical condition which their child is suffering from. For example children who have epilepsy, diabetes, asthma, anaphylactic shock syndrome, etc. may have a seizure at any time and teachers must be made aware of symptoms in order to ensure that treatment may be given by appropriate persons.
Written details are required from the parents/guardians outlining the child’s personal details, name of medication, prescribed dosage, whether the child is capable of self-administration and the circumstances under which the medication is to be given. Parents should also outline clearly proper procedures for children who require medication for life threatening conditions.
The school maintains an up to date register of contact details of all parents/guardians including emergency numbers. This is updated in September of each new school year.
First Aid Boxes:
A first aid box is kept on each corridor and outside the office. A first aid kit is taken when children are engaged in out of school activities such as school tours.
We recommend that any child who shows signs of illness should be kept at home. Requests from parents to keep their children in at lunch break are not encouraged. A child too sick to play with peers should not be in school.
Roles and Responsibilities:
The Board of Management has overall responsibility for the implementation and monitoring of the school policy on Administration of Medication. The Principal is the day to day manager of routines contained in the policy with the assistance of all staff members.
The effectiveness of the school policy in its present form is measured by the following criteria:
Compliance with Health and Safety legislation
Maintaining a safe and caring environment for children
Positive feedback from parents/teachers
Ensuring the primary responsibility for administering remains with parents/guardians
Administration of Medicines
While the Board of Management has a duty to safeguard the health and safety of pupils when they are engaged in authorised school activities, this does not imply a duty upon teachers to undertake the administration of medicines.
The Board of Management requests parents to ensure that teachers be made aware in writing of any medical condition suffered by any children in their class. To this end, parents are asked to complete in full the medical section of the application form and update as necessary.
• Non-prescriptive medicines will neither be stored nor administered to pupils in school.
• Prescribed medicines will not be administered in school without the written consent of parents and the specific authorisation of the Board of Management.
• The medicine should not be kept by the pupil but in a locked cupboard out of reach of pupils. Certain medicines, such as inhalers used by asthmatic children, must be readily accessible at all times of the school day.
• The medicine should be self-administered if possible, under the supervision of an authorised adult.
• A written record of the date and time of administration must be kept.
• A teacher should not administer medication without the specific authorisation of the Board.
• No teacher can be required to administer medicine or drugs to a pupil. It must be done on a voluntary basis.
• In emergency situations qualified medical assistance will be secured at the earliest opportunity.
• Parents of a pupil required regular medication during school hours should write to the Board to authorise a member of staff to administer the medication in school. Written details are required from the parent/guardian to the Board of Management giving the name of the child, name and dose of medication; whether the child should be responsible for his/her own medication; the circumstances in which medication is to be given by the teacher and consent for it to be given; when the parent is to be notified and how she/he can be contacted. It is the parent’s responsibility to check each morning whether or not the authorised teacher is in school, unless an alternative arrangement is made locally.
• Where children are suffering from life threatening conditions (for example, nut allergy), parents should outline clearly in writing, what can and cannot be done in a particular emergency situation, with particular reference to what may be a risk to the child.
• Parents are further required to indemnify the Board of Management and authorised members of staff in respect of any liability that may arise regarding the administration of prescribed medicines in school. The Board of Management will inform the school’s insurers accordingly.
• The family doctor should arrange for the administration of prescribed medicines outside of school hours.
• Where permission has been given by the Board of Management for the administration of medicine the smallest possible dose should be brought to school, preferably by the parent, with clear written instructions for administration, giving the name of the pupil.
• Changes in prescribed medication (or dosage) should be notified immediately to the school with clear written instructions of the procedure to be followed in storing and administering the new medication.
Parents should ensure that these procedures are clearly understood before submitting any request to the Board of Management.
This policy will be reviewed as and when necessary.
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