Most schools will soon be back in session and for some Texas children, who take prescription medications during the day, a little extra planning is required before they head off to school or daycare. Every year the Texas Poison Center Network receives calls from schools and daycare centers about medication being found on floors, in diaper bags or being shared among students.
Specialist with the Texas Poison Center Network, say “parents need to make sure they’re following school district policies before sending their kids off to class carrying prescription drugs.”
It’s also important to talk with your child about how important these medications are, even if they’re sold over the counter. Explain to children that even though medications may make one child feel better, they can make another child very ill.
Also, be sure your children understand that taking more medication than directed on the bottle will not make them feel better quicker but instead can make them sicker. In particular, teenagers should be reminded that taking over-the-counter pain relievers in amounts larger than prescribed can be very dangerous.
Back to school medication safety tips also include:
- Always keep medications in their original container and don’t mix several different medications into one container.
- Be familiar with the school’s medication policy is. Most districts require all medications to be distributed by authorized school personnel. Most policies are going to have you bring the medications into the school nurse and let them distribute the medication. Sending the medication in your child’s sports bag or lunch box is just not a good idea.
- Sports bags may contain asthma inhalers and sports cream. Asthma inhalers should never be shared with other people.
Nearly half of the calls to the Texas Poison Center Network involve medications. Giving your child control of the medication puts them and other children at risk.
The national hotline number, 1-800-222-1222, is available 24 hours a day. Callers are automatically connected to specially trained nurses, pharmacists and physicians at the closest local poison center. These specialists answer poison-related questions about medications, household products and other potentially dangerous substances and can provide poison education materials such as brochures and stickers.