Administering Medicines, First Aid and Sickness Policy
Statement of Intent
While it is not our policy to care for sick children, who should be at home until they are well enough to return to the setting, we will agree to administer medication as part of maintaining their health and well-being or when they are recovering from an illness.
In many cases, it is possible for children’s GPs to prescribe medicine that can be taken at home in the morning and evening. As far as possible, administering medicines will only be done where it would be detrimental to the child’s health if not given in the setting. If a child has not had a medication before, it is advised that the parent keeps the child at home for the first 48 hours to ensure no adverse effect as well as to give time for the medication to take effect.
These procedures are written in line with current guidance in ‘Managing Medicines in Schools and Early Years Settings’, and the Ofsted guidelines ‘Giving medicine to children in registered childcare’; the leader is responsible for ensuring all staff understand and follow these procedures.
The Early Years Leaders are responsible for the correct administration of medication to children. This includes ensuring that parent consent forms have been completed, that medicines are stored correctly and that records are kept according to procedures.
- Children taking prescribed medication must be well enough to attend the setting.
- Only prescribed medication is administered. It must be in-date and prescribed for the current condition.
- Children's prescribed medicines are stored in their original containers, are clearly labelled and are inaccessible to the children.
- Parents give prior written permission for the administration of medication. The staff receiving the medication must ask the parent to sign a consent form stating the following information. No medication may be given without these details being provided:
- full name of child and date of birth;
- name of medication and strength;
- who prescribed it;
- dosage to be given in the setting;
- how the medication should be stored and expiry date;
- any possible side effects that may be expected should be noted; and
- signature, printed name of parent and date.
- The administration is recorded accurately each time it is given and is signed by staff. Parents sign the record book to acknowledge the administration of a medicine. The medication record book records:
- name of child;
- name and strength of medication;
- the date and time of dose;
- who administered the dose;
- dose given and method; and is
- signed by key person/leader;
- and is verified by parent/carer signature at the end of the day
Storage of medicines
- All medication is stored safely and refrigerated where applicable.
- Medicine is handed back at the end of the day to the parent/carer.
- For some conditions, medication may be kept in the setting and must be checked regularly for in date and any out-of-date medication handed back to the parent.
- If the administration of prescribed medication requires medical knowledge, individual training is provided for staff.
- If rectal diazepam is given another member of staff must be present and co-signs the record book.
- No child may self-administer. Where children are capable of understanding when they need medication, for example with asthma, they should be encouraged to tell their key person what they need. However, this does not replace staff vigilance in knowing and responding when a child requires medication.
Children who have long term medical conditions and who may require on ongoing medication
- A risk assessment is carried out for each child with long term medical conditions that require ongoing medication. This is the responsibility of the Early Years Leader alongside the key person. Other medical or social care personnel may need to be involved in the risk assessment.
- Parents will also contribute to a risk assessment. They should be shown around the setting, understand the routines and activities and point out anything which they think may be a risk factor for their child.
- For some medical conditions staff will need to have training in a basic understanding of the condition as well as how the medication is to be administered correctly. The training needs for staff is part of the risk assessment.
- The risk assessment includes vigorous activities and any other activity that may give cause for concern regarding an individual child’s health needs.
- The risk assessment includes arrangements for taking medicines on outings and the child’s GP’s advice is sought if necessary where there are concerns.
- A health care plan for the child is drawn up with the parent; outlining the key person’s role and what information must be shared with other staff who care for the child.
- The health care plan should include the measures to be taken in an emergency.
- The health care plan is reviewed every six months or more if necessary. This includes reviewing the medication, e.g. changes to the medication or the dosage, any side effects noted etc.
- Parents receive a copy of the health care plan and each contributor, including the parent, signs it.
Managing medicines on trips and outings
- If children are going on outings, staff accompanying the children must include the key person for the child with a risk assessment, or another member of staff who is fully informed about the child’s needs and/or medication.
- Medication for a child is taken in a sealed plastic box clearly labelled with the child’s name, name of the medication. Inside the box is a copy of the consent form and a card to record when it has been given, with the details as given above.
- On returning to the setting the card is stapled to the medicine record book and the parent signs it.
- If a child on medication has to be taken to hospital, the child’s medication is taken in a sealed plastic box clearly labelled with the child’s name, name of the medication. Inside the box is a copy of the consent form signed by the parent.
- As a precaution, children should not eat when travelling in vehicles.
- This procedure is read alongside the outings procedure.
- Medicines Act (1968)
All CAT Preschools Limited staff who work with the children hold a current and valid Paediatric First Aid certificate and update their training every 3 years.
The First Aid Kit
- Our first aid kit complies with the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981.
- The first aid box is easily accessible to adults and is kept out of the reach of children.
- No un-prescribed medication is given to children, parents or staff.
- At the time of registration to the setting, parents' written permission for emergency medical advice or treatment is sought. Parents sign and date their written approval, including permission for an anaesthetic to be administered should it be necessary.
- Parents sign a consent form at registration allowing staff to take their child to the nearest Accident and Emergency unit to be examined, treated or admitted as necessary on the understanding that parents have been informed and are on their way to the hospital.
Health and Safety (First Aid ) Regulations (1981)
Managing children with allergies, or who are sick or infectious
(Including reporting notifiable diseases)
We provide care for healthy children and promote health through identifying allergies and preventing contact with the allergenic substance and through preventing cross infection of viruses and bacterial infections.
Procedures for children with allergies
When parents start their children at the setting they are asked if their child suffers from any known allergies. This is recorded on the registration form. If a child has an allergy, a risk assessment form is completed to detail the following:
- The allergen (i.e. the substance, material or living creature the child is allergic to such as nuts, eggs, bee stings, cats, etc).
- The nature of the allergic reactions e.g. anaphylactic shock reaction, including rash, reddening of skin, swelling, breathing problems etc.
- What to do in case of allergic reactions, any medication used and how it is to be used (e.g. Epipen).
- Control measures – such as how the child can be prevented from contact with the allergen.
- This form is kept in the child’s personal file and a copy is displayed where staff can see it.
- Parents train staff in how to administer special medication in the event of an allergic reaction.
- Generally, no nuts or nut products are used within the setting.
- Parents are made aware so that no nut or nut products are accidentally brought in, for example to a party.
Insurance requirements for children with allergies and disabilities
- The insurance will automatically include children with any disability or allergy but certain procedures must be strictly adhered to as set out below. For children suffering life threatening conditions, or requiring invasive treatments; written confirmation from your insurance provider must be obtained to extend the insurance.
At all times the administration of medication must be compliant with the Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and follow procedures based on advice given in Giving Medication in Registered Childcare (Ofsted 2010).
Asthma inhalers are now regarded as "oral medication" by insurers and so documents do not need to be forwarded to your insurance provider.
- Oral medications must be prescribed by a GP or have manufacturer’s instructions clearly written on them.
- The setting must be provided with clear written instructions on how to administer such medication.
- All risk assessment procedures need to be adhered to for the correct storage and administration of the medication.
- The setting must have the parents or guardians prior written consent. This consent must be kept on file. It is not necessary to forward copy documents to your insurance provider.
Life saving medication & invasive treatments - adrenaline injections (Epipens) for anaphylactic shock reactions (caused by allergies to nuts, eggs etc) or invasive treatments such as rectal administration of Diazepam (for epilepsy).
The setting must have:
- a letter from the child's GP/consultant stating the child's condition and what medication if any is to be administered;
- written consent from the parent or guardian allowing staff to administer medication; and
- proof of training in the administration of such medication by the child's GP, a district nurse, children’s nurse specialist or a community paediatric nurse.
Key person for special needs children - children requiring help with tubes to help them with everyday living e.g. breathing apparatus, to take nourishment, colostomy bags etc.
- Prior written consent from the child's parent or guardian to give treatment and/or medication prescribed by the child's GP.
- Key person to have the relevant medical training/experience, which may include those who have received appropriate instructions from parents or guardians, or who have qualifications.
Procedures for children who are sick or infectious
- If children appear unwell during the day, have a temperature, sickness, diarrhoea or pains, particularly in the head or stomach, the Early Years Leader calls the parents and asks them to collect the child, or send a known carer to collect on their behalf.
- If a child has a temperature, they are kept cool, by removing top clothing, sponging their heads with cool water, but kept away from draughts.
- In extreme cases of emergency the child should be taken to the nearest hospital and the parent informed.
- Parents are asked to take their child to the doctor before returning them to preschool; the preschool can refuse admittance to children who have a temperature, sickness and diarrhoea or a contagious infection or disease.
- Where children have been prescribed antibiotics, parents are asked to keep them at home for 48 hours before returning to the setting.
- After diarrhoea or sickness, parents are asked to keep children home for 48 hours.
- The setting has a list of excludable diseases and current exclusion times which is included in the Welcome Packs on registration.
- If there is any suspicion that a child has a viral disease likely to become an epidemic, the GP and the local authority would be informed and their advice followed.
Reporting of ‘notifiable diseases’
- If a child or adult is diagnosed suffering from a notifiable disease under the Public Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations 1988, the GP will report this to the Health Protection Agency.
- When the setting becomes aware, or is formally informed of the notifiable disease, the Early Years Leader/Manager informs Ofsted and acts on any advice given by the Health Protection Agency.
- Head lice are not an excludable condition, although in exceptional cases a parent may be asked to keep the child away until the infestation has cleared.
- On identifying cases of head lice, all parents are informed and asked to treat their child and all the family if they are found to have head lice.