Administering medication at school
The Department recognises that all medications, including over-the-counter (OTC) medications, e.g. paracetamol or alternative medicines, may be drugs or poisons and may cause side effects. As such, schools are required to receive medical authorisation from a prescribing health practitioner (e.g. doctor, dentist, optometrist, but not a pharmacist) to administer any medication to students, including those bought over-the-counter.
Whilst parents may administer OTC medications to their child without medical authorisation, they are aware of the child’s complete medical history, and are able to provide ongoing, direct supervision for the course of the child’s illness. Due to these circumstances, a parent is also more likely to recognise if their child is having adverse effects and requires immediate medical attention.
The student’s prescribing health practitioner also has the knowledge of the child’s medical history to determine the appropriate OTC medication to administer and is therefore able to determine dosage and provide advice regarding potential side effects or interactions with other medications.
For these reasons, OTC medications will only be administered to students at school if medical authorisation has been received.
If your student is at risk of Anaphylaxis, it is important for you to provide the school with your student’s emergency medication and their ASCIA Anaphylaxis Action Plan, completed by your doctor. This Anaphylaxis Action Plan provides the instructions for the school to administer your student’s medication in an emergency, which is specific to respond to their health condition.
Requirements for students at risk of Asthma
We recognise that some students are capable of managing their Asthma without adult assistance. If you are confident that your student can confidently, competently and safely self-administer their Asthma medication, let the school administration know. The school will record your decision and will not require your student’s Asthma Action Plan.
Please note that if your student requires assistance in an Asthma emergency, staff will provide Asthma First Aid.
If you are unsure whether your student is ready to self-administer, or if your student’s health condition changes, please contact Student Services to discuss further.
Providing medication to the school
Before you provide the school with your student’s medication, check the expiry date to ensure it is in-date and there is enough for the agreed time period. It is also a good idea to take a note of the expiry date so that you can replace the medication before it expires.
Please note, school staff will not administer medication that you can buy over-the-counter at chemists and supermarkets (e.g. paracetamol, eye drops, cough syrup) unless it has been prescribed by your student’s qualified health practitioner. For example, the school would administer paracetamol to a student only if it has been prescribed by their dentist to be taken for a short time after dental treatment.
School staff are bound by these regulations and we hope that all parents will acknowledge and cooperate with these rules.