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ISMP Medication Safety Alert


SCHOOL HANDLING OF MEDICATION

Does your child's school or daycare provider give medication to your child, even once in awhile? Do you know exactly how medications are handled there? Even if the school is not handling medication for your child now, it's a good bet that they are handling it for other children and may have to give your child medication sometime in the future. Therefore, it makes sense for every family to learn about school medication handling procedures. The following story shows why it's important for parents to become involved in shaping such procedures.

A Denver newspaper reported that a kindergartner was hospitalized on the opening day of school after a teacher's aide gave medication to the wrong child. The medication was intended for another child who had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD). The five-year-old who mistakenly received the medication became drowsy and was taken to the emergency room of a local hospital for treatment.

Because of this frightening experience, the school has changed its procedures for handling childrens' medications. To ensure safety, the school will now photograph all children who use medication and will meet individually with the parents of children who must receive medication. ISMP recommends that you talk specifically with your child's school to be sure that these or similar safeguards are in place to protect all children who attend there.

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