Policy and Procedure for Administering Medication
At St Peter’s Nursery, we promote the good health of children attending nursery and take necessary steps to prevent the spread of infection (see Policy and Procedure for Procedure for Managing Children who are Sick, Infectious or Suffering Allergies). If a child requires medicine we will obtain information about the child’s needs for this, and will ensure this information is kept up to date.
We follow strict guidelines when dealing with medication of any kind in the nursery and these are set out below.
Medication prescribed by a doctor, dentist, nurse or pharmacist
(Medicines containing aspirin will only be given if prescribed by a doctor)
- Prescription medicine will only be given to the person named on the bottle for the dosage stated
- Medicines must be in their original containers
- Those with parental responsibility for any child requiring prescription medication should hand over the medication to the most appropriate member of staff who will then complete the details on our Medication Administration Form (Appendix A). By signing this form, parents are consenting to St Peter’s Nursery staff to administer medication to their child. This can cover a whole course of medication or for the ongoing use of a particular medication under the following circumstances:
- The permission is only acceptable for that brand name of medication and cannot be used for similar types of medication, e.g. if the course of antibiotics changes, a new form will need to be completed
- The dosage stated on the Medication Administration form is the only dosage that will be administered. We will not give a different dose unless a new form is completed
- Parents must notify us IMMEDIATELY if the child’s circumstances change, e.g. a dose has been given at home, or a change in strength/dose needs to be given.
- The nursery will not administer a dosage that exceeds the recommended dose on the instructions unless accompanied by written instructions from a relevant health professional such as a letter from a doctor or dentist
- The parent must be asked when the child has last been given the medication before coming to nursery; and the staff member must record this information on the medication form. Similarly when the child is picked up, the parent or guardian must be given precise details of the times and dosage given throughout the day. The parent’s signature must be obtained at both times
- At the time of administering the medicine, a senior member of staff will ask the child to take the medicine, or offer it in a manner acceptable to the child at the prescribed time and in the prescribed form. (It is important to note that staff working with children are not legally obliged to administer medication)
- If the child refuses to take the appropriate medication then a note will be made on the form and parents contacted immediately.
- Where medication is “essential” or may have side effects, discussion with the parent will take place to establish the appropriate response.
Non-prescription medication will not be administered
- The nursery will not administer any non-prescription medication unless it is an emergency and only with verbal consent and a follow-up email to that effect, from the parent. Instances could include child developing a fever or a reaction to an insect bite, and parent being unable to collect immediately. After this time medical attention should be sought. Medication Administration form must be completed and copy given to parent. Nursery to keep signed form
- If the nursery feels the child would benefit from medical attention rather than non-prescription medication, we reserve the right to refuse nursery care until the child is seen by a medical practitioner
- If a child needs liquid paracetamol or similar medication during their time at nursery, such medication will be treated as prescription medication with the onus being on the parent to provide the medicine We will follow administration guidelines as above.
- An emergency nursery supply of fever relief (e.g Calpol) and anti-histamines (e.g. Piriton) will be stored on site. This will be checked at regular intervals by the designated trained first aider to make sure that it complies with any instructions for storage and is still in date
- If a child falls ill during the day, the nursery will make every attempt to contact the child’s parents. Giving non-prescription medication will be a last resort and the nursery staff will use other methods first to try and alleviate the symptoms, e.g. for an increase in temperature the nursery will remove clothing, use fanning, tepid cooling with a wet flannel. The child will be closely monitored until the parents collect the child
- For any non-prescription cream for skin conditions e.g. Sudocrem, a Medication Administration form (Appendix A) must be completed by the parent. The parent must provide the cream which should be clearly labelled with the child’s name and is for that particular child only.
- If any child is brought to the nursery in a condition in which he/she may require medication sometime during the day, the Head will decide if the child is fit to be left at the nursery. If the child is staying, the parent must be asked if any kind of medication has already been given, at what time and in what dosage and this must be stated on the Medication Administration form
- As with any kind of medication, staff will ensure that the parent is informed of any non-prescription medicines given to the child whilst at the nursery, together with the times and dosage given
- The nursery DOES NOT administer any medication unless prior written consent is given for each and every medicine.
Injections, pessaries, suppositories
As the administration of injections, pessaries and suppositories represents intrusive nursing, we will not administer these without appropriate medical training for every member of staff caring for this child. This training is specific for every child and not generic. The nursery will do all it can to make any reasonable adjustments including working with parents and other professionals to arrange for appropriate health officials to train staff in administering the medication.
All nursery staff have a responsibility to work with children only where they are fit to do so. Staff must not work with children where they are infectious or too unwell to meet children’s needs. This includes circumstances where any medication taken affects their ability to care for children, for example, where it makes a person drowsy. If any staff member believes that their condition, including any condition caused by taking medication, is affecting their ability they must the Head and seek medical advice. The Head will decide if a staff member is fit to work, including circumstances where other staff members notice changes in behaviour suggesting a person may be under the influence of medication. This decision will include any medical advice obtained by the individual or from an occupational health assessment.
Where staff may occasionally or regularly need medication, any such medication must be kept, in the staff kitchen, or where staff may need easy access to the medication such as an asthma inhaler. In all cases it must be stored out of reach of the children. It must not be kept in the first aid box and should be labelled with the name of the member of staff.
All medication for children must have the child’s name clearly written on the original container and kept in a closed box, along with the Medication Administration form which includes details of dosage and times of administration. The box is kept in the kitchen cupboard alongside the First Aid kit.
All medications must be in their original containers, labels must be legible and not tampered with or they will not be given. All prescription medications should have the pharmacist’s details and notes attached to show the dosage needed and the date the prescription was issued. This will all be checked, along with expiry dates, before staff agree to administer medication.
Under no circumstances can medication be shared among children