What are your responsibilities when giving medication to children in your care?
If a child has a condition where the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) would apply, you must make reasonable accommodations and that may mean giving a child medication. The family must provide written instructions to caregivers on the proper administration of the medications or treatment required for the child. Care providers are free to choose whether or not to give medications outside of those required by the ADA. Your decision must be clearly documented in your health care policy and handbook. If a medication is prescribed two times per day or daily, oftentimes the family members will be able to administer it at home. There are exceptions, such as asthma medication, so be clear on when specifically medication needs to be administered.
Key points to remember regarding administering medication:
Only documented staff who have been trained and oriented to your medication policies can give medications to children.
There must be a start and stop date for each medication. You can only give the medication for the duration of the illness. Medications cannot be given “as needed.”
Return any unused portion to the family.
Read all labels carefully!
Parents must give written consent before you give any child any medication.
Non-prescription medications also require family consent, such as antihistamines, non-aspirin fever reducers / pain relievers, decongestants, ointments for dry skin or diaper area, and sunscreen.
You may not mix medications in formula or food unless you have written directions to do so from a health care provider.
Prescription medication must be in the original prescription bottle or packaging.
Times shown are Pacific Standard Time. If you are in Central or Eastern Time, you will need to adjust the time accordingly.
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