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Close up of a prescription bottle

Medication at School: Tips for Parents

By Dr. Vernita Peeples, Pediatric Partners of Hampton Roads

Parents who have a child that needs to take medication at school can help make this daily routine go smoothly by taking some simple steps and preparation.

Because many school districts and private schools have their own their rules for dispensing medication to students, it’s often best to first consult with your child’s school nurse. There may be forms you need to fill out before the school year starts.

Medication at school should always be kept in the container given to you from the pharmacy with proper labeling. Ask your pharmacist if it’s possible to dispense your child’s medication into two labeled bottles so that you can keep one at school and the other at home.

Transporting Medication to School

All medication should be transported to school by an adult and received by another adult. As a general rule, children should not carry medication during school hours unless doing so has been approved by their parent, doctor, and school official for emergency purposes. School authorities also should ensure immediate access to emergency medications. Written authorization for prescription and nonprescription medications given during school hours may be required from your child’s doctor, as well as written consent from a parent. When in doubt, refer to the school’s mediation policy.

Medication Label Guidelines

All medication must be contained in labeled pharmacy containers with physician instructions. The information should include:

  • Your child’s name.
  • Name of medication.
  • Dosage.
  • Frequency and route of administration.
  • Physician name.
  • Date of prescription.
  • Expiration date.

Field Trips

If your child is going on a field trip that conflicts with the time of day that they normally take their medication, ask your child’s doctor if it can be taken at an alternate time without complication.

If your child must take their medication during the field trip, make arrangements to ensure that the medication is transported, stored, and administered properly.

Medication at College

If your child is under the age of 18, be sure to discuss with health center staff any medical information they need regarding your teen. It’s a good idea to figure out ahead of time how to arrange for prescription refills.

Make sure your teen understands how their medication should be taken and what side effects can occur if taken at the wrong time or with alcohol.

If your teen lives in the dorms or has roommates, talk to them about any emergency medication your child may need in the event of an emergency. Make sure they know where the medication is kept.

If your child’s condition is complex, consider speaking with health center staff prior to the start of school.

As always, seek out the advice of your child’s doctor, school nurse or the health center staff before school starts to prevent any problems during the school year.

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About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.