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Close up of a prescription bottle

Medication at School: Tips for Parents

Author: CHKD Medical Group, Dr. Daniel Robinson
Published Date: Monday, August 12, 2019

By Dr. Daniel Robinson, Coastal Pediatrics

If your child needs to take medication during school hours, it’s important to consider the following guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Before School Starts Before school starts, ask your pharmacist if there is any way to split your child’s medication into two bottles with their own labels. That way you can keep one at home and one at school. 

Be sure to review the school’s medication policy and ask for any medication administration forms that may be required.

Getting Medications to School

All medications should be transported to the school by an adult and received by another adult.

Children should not carry their medication during school hours unless it is approved by you, the doctor, and the school for emergency purposes. Schools should make every effort to make sure there is 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.

Medications Labels Should Include:

All medications must be in appropriately labeled pharmacy containers with physician instructions. Medications in any other containers, such as envelopes or baggies, will not be accepted.

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

What About Field Trips?

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

If it’s necessary that your child take their medication during the field trip or if your child has a chronic condition, arrangements should be made by the parent and the school to ensure that the medication is transported, stored, and administered properly.

Medication at College

Discuss with health center staff any medical information they need regarding your teen. Find out how to arrange for prescription refills.

Make sure your teen knows what medications they are taking, how it is taken, side effects, and if any foods or drinks (like alcohol) should be restricted.

Make sure anyone living with your teen (i.e., roommates, resident advisors) know about any emergency medications your child may need and where it will be kept in the event of an emergency.

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

When in doubt, take time to speak with your child’s doctor and the health center staff or school nurse in advance of the start of school to be sure you’re taking all of the right precautions when it comes to your child’s health and medications.

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About CHKD Medical Group

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.