An Administration of Medication policy has been in existence in the school since 2007. The policy was recently reviewed through a collaborative school process and was ratified by the Board of Management in May 2013.
The policy as outlined was put in place to;
- Clarify areas of responsibility
- To give clear guidance about situations where it is not appropriate to administer medicines
- To indicate the limitations to any requirements which may be notified to teachers and school staff
- To outline procedures to deal with a pupil with a nut allergy in our school
- Safeguard school staff that are willing to administer medication
- 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.
The aims and objectives of the policy can be summarised as follows;
- Minimise health risks to children and staff on the school premises
- Fulfil the duty of the BoM in relation to Health and Safety requirements
- 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 answer questions in relation to the Health/Medication of their child/ren on our application form when enrolling their child in our school. The BoM may authorise a teacher or another member of staff to administer medication to a pupil. If the teacher or staff member is so authorised, she/he should be properly instructed by the Board. If the administration requires special medical training, the BoM will insist that training be given by a special medical person or parent. The BoM may also authorize another member of staff to administer the medication in the event that the appointed person is absent from school. In the event of having to administer more serious medicine the BoM reserves the right to decide whether it is suitable to have it administered in the school.
- 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. Under no circumstance will non-prescribed medicines be either stored or administered in the school. The BoM 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. These medicines are not the schools responsibility. A small quantity of prescription drugs will be stored in the fridge in the staffroom, if a child requires self-administering on a daily basis and parents have requested storage facilities. Parents are responsible for the provision of medication and notification of change of dosage.
- Teachers have a professional duty to safeguard the health and safety of pupils, both when they are authorised to be on the school premises and when they are engaged in authorised school activities elsewhere.
- The Board of Management requests parents to ensure that teachers be made aware in writing of any medical condition suffered by any child in their class.
- This does not imply a duty upon teachers personally to undertake the administration of medicines or drugs.
Long Term Health Problems
Where there are children with long-term health problems in school, proper and clearly understood arrangements for the administration of medicines must be made with the Board of Management. This is the responsibility of the parents/guardians. It would include measures such as self administration, administration under parental supervision or administration by school staff.
Life Threatening Condition
Where children are suffering from life threatening conditions, parents/guardians must clearly outline, in writing, what should be done in a particular emergency situation, with particular reference to what may be a risk to the child (Appendix 3). If emergency medication is necessary, arrangements must be made with the Board of Management. A letter of indemnity must be signed by the parents in respect of any liability that may arise regarding the administration of medication.
Guidelines for the Administration of Medicines
- The parents of the pupil with special medical needs must inform the Board of Management in writing of the condition, giving all the necessary details of the condition. The request must also contain written instruction of the procedure to be followed in administering the medication. (Appendix 1, 2 or 3)
- Parents must write requesting the Board of Management to authorise the administration of the medication in school.
- Where specific authorisation has been given by the Board of Management for the administration of medicine, the medicines must be brought to school by the parent.
- Parents/guardians are responsible for ensuring that emergency medication is supplied to the school and replenished when necessary.
- Emergency medication must have exact details of how it is to be administered.
- The BoM must inform the school’s insurers accordingly.
- Parents are further required to indemnify the Board of Management and members of the staff in respect of any liability that may arise regarding the administration of prescribed medicines in school.
- All correspondence related to the above are kept in the child’s file in the school office.
- Non-prescribed medicines will not be administered to pupils in school except in the case of nut allergies.
- Teachers/SNAs in the school will only administer prescribed medication when arrangements have been put in place as outlined above.
- Arrangements for the storage of certain emergency medicines, which must be readily accessible at all times, must be made with the principal.
- A teacher/SNA must not administer any medication without the specific authorisation of the Board of Management.
- The prescribed medicine must be self-administered if possible, under the supervision of an authorised Teacher/SNA if not the parent.
- In an emergency situation, qualified medical assistance will be secured at the earliest opportunity and the parents contacted.
- It is not recommended that children keep medication in bags, coats, etc.
- Where possible, the parents should arrange for the administration of prescribed medicines outside of school hours.
The following guidelines are in place with regard to pupils with a Nut Allergy
- Staff dealing with the pupil do not eat nuts of any item with nut trace
- Advise children not to offer or exchange foods, sweets, lunches etc.
- If going off-site, medication must be carried.
- Nuts are banned in the school.
In the event the pupil comes in contact with peanuts
- Administer 5ml Zirtec/Sudafed or other antihistamine immediately. It is important that the pupil be kept calm to allow him to breathe calmly as he will experience discomfort and sensation of his/her throat swelling. If possible (s)he needs to drink as much water as possible. These steps should allow him/her to recover fully.
- Only in the event of anaphylactic shock should the pen be administered. Pen is stored in the fridge in the staffroom or in the top draw of the teacher’s desk. Before or immediately after Pen has been administered, an ambulance must be called.
Indicators of shock include
Symptoms of shock can include, wheezing, severe difficulty breathing and gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea.
School Doctor: Catherine Kelleher
Contact Number: 022 43406
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 teachers are made aware in writing of any medical condition which their child is suffering from. For example children who are epileptics, diabetics 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.
First Aid Boxes
A full medical kit is taken when children are engaged in out of school activities such as tours, football/hurling games and athletic activities.
A first aid box is kept in the school hall, containing anti-septic wipes, anti-septic bandages, sprays, steri-strips, cotton wool, scissors etc.
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 BoM 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 maintenance and replenishment of First Aid Boxes is managed by the school secretary. School staff will inform the secretary when supplies need to be replenished.
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
Ratification and Review
This policy was reviewed and ratified by the BoM in September 2019. It will be reviewed again in September 2021 or sooner in the event of incidents or on the enrolment of child/children with significant medical conditions
The policy was originally implemented in 2007.
Medical Condition and Administration of Medicines
Child’s Name: ________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ____________
1) Name: ____________________________Phone: ___________________
2) Name: ____________________________ Phone: ___________________
3) Name: ____________________________ Phone: ___________________
Child’s Doctor: ____________________________ Phone: ________________
Medical Condition: _________________________________________________________
Storage details: _________________________________________________________
Is the child to be responsible for taking the prescription him/herself?
What Action is required
I/We request that the Board of Management authorise the taking of Prescription Medicine during the school day as it is absolutely necessary for the continued well being of my/our child. I/We understand that the school has no facilities for the safe storage of prescription medicines and that the prescribed amounts be brought in daily. I/We understand that we must inform the school/Teacher of any changes of medicine/dose in writing and that we must inform the Teacher each year of the prescription/medical condition. I/We understand that no school personnel have any medical training and we indemnify the Board from any liability that may arise from the administration of the medication.
Signed ________________________ Parent/Guardian
Type of Allergy: __________________________________________________
Reaction Level: __________________________________________________
Storage details: __________________________________________________
Dosage required: __________________________________________________
Administration Procedure (When, Why, How) _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
In the event of ______________ displaying any symptoms of his/her medical difficulty, the following procedures should be followed.
Dial 999 and call emergency services.
Record of Administration of Medicines
Pupil’s Name: _____________________
Date of Birth: _____________________
Medical Condition: __________________________________________________
Dosage Administered: __________________________________________________
Administration Details (When, Why, How) _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________