Guidelines for Administering Medication
The Center must tell parents at enrollment about when they are willing to give children medicine. The Center may choose not to give medicine at all. If the Center chooses to give medicine, they must follow these guidelines.
The Center may give medication only after receipt of written approval from the child’s parent. Medication may only be given to a child by a staff member who is authorized to do so. If a school-age child is permitted to self-administer medication, an authorized staff member must supervise the child.
All medication must be kept in a secured area that is inaccessible to the children. Non-prescription medication must be stored in a labeled container with a childproof cap.
Any prescription medication for a child must be prescribed for the child you are giving it to. Prescription medication must be stored in its original container, which has been labeled with the child’s name, the name of the medication, the date it was prescribed or updated and directions for its administration. Make sure the prescription date is current. Unused medication must be returned to the parent when no longer being administered.
Non-prescription, over-the-counter medication may only be given according to the directions on the label. Check the expiration date on the package, the recommended dosage for the age and weight of the child, and the time interval between doses. The Center may give antihistamines/decongestants, cough suppressants, acetaminophen (aspirin substitutes) or topical (skin) ointments with a note from the child’s parent. Other types of non-prescription medication may only be given with a doctor’s note, as they may have harmful side effects. It is especially important not to give aspirin unless a doctor orders it, because it is associated with a life-threatening illness called Reye’s syndrome. If a child shows any side effects of medication, report them to the parent.
When giving medication, follow directions carefully. Use a medicine spoon with marked amounts, not an ordinary teaspoon, for giving liquid medication. Do not give food, juice, soda or anything except water with medicine unless directions call for it. Watch the child to be sure the medication has been swallowed and be sure to put the container out of reach right away. The Center must maintain on file a record of:
- The child’s name and parental authorization;
- The name of the medication;
- The instructions for administering the medication, including the dosage and frequency;
- The time and by whom the medication was administered to the child; and
- Any adverse effect the medication may have had on the child.
No staff will take medicine of their own in front of the children, as they may try to imitate. No staff shall refer to medicine as “candy” and or give or threaten to give medicine as a punishment. The Center will help the children understand that medicine is helpful and important, but it must be treated with care.