Administering Medicines

The aims of this document are:

·         To create a caring community with the support of pupils, teachers, parents and non-teaching staff
·         To promote an environment where everyone feels safe and secure.
·         To set out a procedure for administering medication by staff members under the authorisation of the Board of Management.
·         To inform fully the school community of procedures for administering medication to pupils with recognised health problems.
·         To clarify the responsibility of parents, BOM, principal, teachers, staff and children regarding the giving of medicines.
·         To encourage adherence to an agreed set of principles

Underlying Principles:

·         Parents have the prime responsibility for their child’s health.
·         Medicines should only be administered in school when essential and cannot be given at an alternative time: i.e. that it would be detrimental to a child’s health if the medicine were not administered during the school day.
·         Medicines will not be administered, even in an emergency, without the prior written permission of the child’s parents which has been updated annually.
·         Medicines should always be provided in the original container as dispensed by the pharmacist and include the prescriber’s instructions.
·         Medicines will not be stored or administered without prior written permission from the B.O.M.
·         Parents should keep children at home when they are unwell.

Children with Long term Health Problems:

When enrolling a child in St. Brigid’s National School, the Board of Management requires parents/guardians to fill out an application form, part of which seeks details of any health problems affecting the child.
Where a child is in need of medication during school hours, the parents must outline clearly in writing when medicines must be administered, what can/cannot be done in a particular emergency situation with particular reference to what may cause a risk to a child.
The parents will give written permission for the administration of the prescribed medication and will sign an indemnity letter.

Parents should collect medicines and store them at home during holidays


Conditions that apply

Medical  information will be kept in the pupil’s file throughout the child’s time at school.
When a child’s medical condition necessitates ongoing monitoring and may involve the administration of emergency medicines the following practice will prevail:
Teachers will receive professional training on the illness, symptoms, and the administration of medicines
The “twinned” teacher will also be familiar with the child, the condition and receive professional training.
All staff will be made aware of the child and his/her condition and how medicines should be administered.
The child’s photograph will be included on a notice-board in the staff room and on the relevant yard notebook to assist instant recognition and children will wear high vis armbands in the yard,
Specialist medicines will be stored in the child’s classroom in an easily identified box with child’s name clearly printed on the outside, which will also hold administration  instructions, emergency phone numbers, G.P.’s phone number
In emergency situations qualified medical assistance will be secured at the earliest opportunity.
A record of administration will be kept

The Board of Management will:

  • give specific authorisation in writing to members of staff who are willing to administer medication.
  • require an indemnity from parents in respect of any liability that may arise regarding the administration of medicines
  • Provide training /instruction for teachers on the administration of specialist medicines
  • Arrange for the safe storage of medication e.g. a secure First Aid box, special kits etc. will be provided in the appropriate classrooms.
  • inform the school’s insurers accordingly
  • review the policy every 12 months.

The Principal will be responsible for
·         putting this policy into practice
·         making the school community aware of the policy
·         ensuring that all staff are aware of children with acute conditions
·         Arrange for the administration of medicines, allocation of child to “twinned teacher” in the event of the authorised teacher being absent

Role of the Teacher:

No teacher will be obliged to either administer medicines or to supervise children taking them.

The teacher will:

·         not administer  medicines without the specific authorisation of the BOM.
·         Make all staff aware of the child and his/her condition and how medicines should be administered.
·         Inform parents if their child has received/refused medication at school to avoid repeat dose at home or at wrong time interval.
·         Keep written records each time medicines are given( Kept in the Principal’s office unless other arrangements are in place.
·         Inform parents if prescribed medicines could not be administered
·         Seek direction from parents when risk to the child is suspected
·         Ensure that emergency medicines are readily accessible yet out of children’s reach

It will be the parent’s responsibility to

  • request the BOM in writing to authorise a member(s) of staff to administer medicine at the time of admission to the school.
  • Meet with class teacher and the principal and inform them in writing, at the beginning of each year, of the child’s medical condition, symptoms and appropriate treatment and how to minimise risk to the child
  • give permission for their child to be taken to the hospital/doctor in the case of a medical emergency, at the teacher’s or principal’s discretion.
  • Update and renew the request for administration of medicine at the beginning of each school year to the Board of Management.
  • Write a letter requesting changes in dosage or time of administration
  • Inform teachers/staff/parents who may take the child for extra-curricular activities, educational visits, tours etc. of the child’s needs
  • Ensure that, as far as is possible, all the medical and nutritional needs of the child are attended to before presenting the child for school
  • Contact the teacher to ensure that the child’s medication is brought on school trips.
  • Supply the medication and check that it is in date, dispose of out-of-date medicines and store medicines over holiday periods
  • Ensure that medicines are clearly labelled with child’s name, parents’ phone numbers, name and dose of medicine and frequency of administration,
  • Check each morning that the authorised teacher is in school,  and if not to speak to the authorised neighbouring teacher.

Parents will be required to give permission for their child to be photographed for the purpose of informing the staff and auxiliary staff about each child’s medical needs. These photographs will be used in yard duty notebooks and on staff notice-boards to assist in the process of identifying children who may require emergency medicine.

Children will

·         Know where their medicines are stored
·         As they get older and more mature it may become appropriate that children take more responsibility for the administration of their own medicines i.e. self-administered when possible, under the supervision of an authorised adult.