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Non-prescribed medicines not administer-able on school residential

(35 Posts)
NikkiH Thu 14-Feb-13 18:10:38

DS2 (year 6) is going on a five day school residential next half term. We have been informed of a change in LEA policy which means that school staff are no longer able to administer medicines which haven't been prescribed by a doctor.

Whereas before school has been able to take Calpol (or similar pain relieving medicine) and administer it with parents' permission or parents have been able to supply Calpol / nurofen etc with dosage written down for staff to administer as needed, this is no longer permitted.

DS2 is hale and hearty. I cannot remember the last time he needed / was given paracetamol. Previously for school residentials I have put several doses of Calpol in an envelope and handed it over to school staff 'just in case' and it has always been returned unopened.

What would you do? I really don't want to have to ask my GP for prescribed painkiller 'just in case' it is needed but I hate the thought of DS potentially in pain or poorly with no access to medicine.

Ilovesunflowers Thu 14-Feb-13 18:32:07

Seriously. You are worried about not having medicine JUST IN CASE? Your child will be fine. If they get ill then the staff will get him to a doctor.
This overreaction from some parents is one of many reasons why some schools no longer do trips or residentials.
Get a grip or your worries will stop your child enjoying themselves.

I have taken hundreds of children on trips and residentials and I've never had any issues. No illnesses and no injuries.

mrz Thu 14-Feb-13 18:33:27

If the school have previously administered non prescription medicines they have done so against national/government policies. If a child really needed medication the staff would seek medical support surely.

take3 Thu 14-Feb-13 18:40:09

Sounds totally crazy to me and I totally sympathise with the OP....
What a waste of A and E time, or Gp's time if a child has a headache and just needs a bit of calpol... our society has gone crazy with all this.

I love sunflowers... your 'No injuries or illnesses' does not mean that NikkiH's son will be fine... and I really don't think it is an over-reaction, it is just being a parent and being sensible and caring....

meditrina Thu 14-Feb-13 18:43:21

Perhaps you could enquire what they would do with a child in pain?

The only OTC medicines I've known permitted on a school residential trip recently are hay fever medications.

mrz Thu 14-Feb-13 18:50:10

I don't think any sane teacher will take a child to A&E for something that requires Calpol do you take3 hmm most good residential centres have medical staff and parents will usually be required to sign a permission slip for treatment if needed.

CokeFan Thu 14-Feb-13 18:50:49

We had this with nursery (piriton or generic equivalent for allergies). They insisted that they'd only give medicine if it had been prescribed by a doctor - which it had - but it meant that they had to have the bottle that had the prescription sticker on it, rather than another one bought OTC. Wasn't really a problem for us and I understand why they did it, but if DD had been in two nurseries/playgroups then we'd have had to get two prescriptions to give them each a bottle.

Ilovesunflowers Thu 14-Feb-13 18:50:52

take 3 - A&E for a headache. Are you for real? If a child has a headache then they have a headache. Calpol isn't required for every headache or sniffle. My goodness. Talk about wrapping in cotton wool.

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Thu 14-Feb-13 18:51:20

I thinkit is quite odd that you routinely send pain relief. He'll be fine. He won't suffer terribly if he has a cold and no calpol.

DeWe Thu 14-Feb-13 18:56:24

I very much doubt that any GP would prescribe calpol to a completely healthy child "just in case".

I wouldn't worry about sending pain relief. If they're in enough pain to need it then the teachers will think of something.

Round here teachers will only give medicine if it's prescribed. General guidelines I believe.

Sirzy Thu 14-Feb-13 18:56:59

Needing medication to be prescribed is normal and sensible.

You could go on forever with the "just in case" things he may need.

NikkiH Thu 14-Feb-13 20:03:49

thanks for your opinions - all appreciated even if they do suggest I'm over reacting. I'm not the only parent who routinely sent pain relief and there's a few of us debating what to do. Some are thinking of putting a dose or two in their children's bags with instructions only to use it if they need it. But I don't like this idea either.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Thu 14-Feb-13 20:07:40

I very much doubt a GP would prescribe calpol, unless it was a private prescription. Plus if it just said "as needed" on it, would the prescription be any use anyway?

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Thu 14-Feb-13 20:13:30

NikkiH - that would be a very irresponsible and dangerous thing to do. Really? Even though younhave no idea if any of the other children are alleric to calpol or similar? You would risk that just in case your child has a cold? You need a massive think, your child is at NO risk from not having calpol but you would willingly put other children at risk.

Sorry if I seem angry but what you suggest is not safe.

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Thu 14-Feb-13 20:16:49

Two doses could have a big impact on a young child. You must not do that, it is so dangerous to give children unsupervised access to medicine.

Startail Thu 14-Feb-13 20:20:38

It's quite barmy because it means any Y6 girl who's started her periods or any child who's prone to headaches just stashes some pare ethanol in there bag and doesn't tell the staff.

Which is surely way more dangerous.

Startail Thu 14-Feb-13 20:23:30

Paracetamol auto correct gives me a head ache.

It's doubly barmy as the firstaider at secondary school doles out paracetamol without batting an eye lid.

Do DCs really become a different species in the summer holidays between Y6 and Y7?

mrz Thu 14-Feb-13 20:33:40

They don't in primary schools Startail

NikkiH Thu 14-Feb-13 21:27:54

I'm not thinking of putting it in his bag for the reasons others have listed here as well as other reasons. Other parents are though.

Common sense tells me that the school wouldn't take 60 kids to an isolated rural venue without contingency plans in place but I don't think I'd be a decent mum without wanting some kind of reassurance. Think I'll be asking school what they would do if a child was running a temperature or in pain. Parents will be a good three hour drive away so it's not as if we can be there quickly.

GingerbreadGretel Thu 14-Feb-13 22:10:25

Wow. My son has been on school residentials and several cub camps. It never occurred to me to send pain relief.

If my daughter had very painful periods, then I would visit the GP and get something prescribed. There are probably better alternatives than Calpol anyway. My GP used to prescribe mefenamic acid to me when I was a teen.

Otherwise, I think most kids should just tough it out - if it not something you can tough out, then they'll probably need a GP anyway.

FannyBazaar Thu 14-Feb-13 22:18:33

When I was a child AFAIK no one ever took any medicines with them 'just in case'. I never take any medicine with me on a holiday for me and DS unless it is actually needed when we set off.

Has calpol been around for ever or is it just a new thing to make us think we should have it around at all time?

catkind Thu 14-Feb-13 22:20:40

Why should kids have to tough out a headache? I wouldn't.
Have you clarified with them whether they have something like paracetamol in their first aid kit? Can understand them not wanting to routinely give something OTC you've given them, but surely they have to have provision for minor unexpected incidents. They'd put a plaster on a graze, right? Is that so different to a paracetamol for a headache?

mrz Fri 15-Feb-13 07:11:29

catkind they can't give Calpol/paracetamol....whether sent by a parent of in their first aid kit and no they may well not put a plaster on a graze ...

meditrina Fri 15-Feb-13 07:34:03

Schools rarely give non-prescribed drugs.

But given how it would wreck both NHS drugs bill and availability of doctor's appointments, most schools/LAs have more sensible guidelines. For example, never, ever given for raised temperature, headache that has come on that day or any symptom which looks like the child has an infection. But OK for child on first couple of days back with a newly plastered limb.

Sleepy making antihistamines are generally a no-no, but I had the non-drowsy hay fever preventatives OK'ed for a school trip last year.

The guidelines are just that, guidelines. If the school chooses to implement them absolutely (or has an LA which is that strict), the there isn't much you can do about it. But the possibility of a more pragmatic approach exists. So it is always worth making your case if you see there is need.

But I doubt "just in case" will cut it.

insanityscratching Fri 15-Feb-13 09:40:00

On dd's residential the HT took calpol with him. We all signed to say that we agreed to our child receiving the minimum dose if needed but were assured that we would be contacted again by phone before it was given. I would rather that than parents stashing medicine in their child's suitcase.

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