A Child's Backpack: Books, Pencils, Homework, Medication?
Children with ADD or ADHD often have an even more difficult time at school due to the lack of consistent treatment and medication. If your child requires daily medication for their ADD/ADHD, it's so important to develop a working routine with their teachers, principal and school nurse.
School Medication Policy
If your child is prescribed any medication, you'll want to immediately contact the school and learn about their medication policy. Different schools may require different pieces of information, such as a doctor's prescription or pharmacy note. Your child's school may not have a nurse, and you'll have to give the information to the teacher, principal or another designated person. You may find it easiest to call or make an appointment with the person who will be responsible for administering your child's medication. This way you can provide all the information at one time, and arrange the easiest way to communicate specific changes.
Information to Discuss with School Nurse
Remember to address these issues with the school nurse, or the person in charge of issuing medication.
- Frequency and size of dose
- Doctors name, phone number and prescription
- Your contact information, including phone, email, home address and emergency number or cell phone.
- Other emergency numbers (grandparent, close friend, babysitter)
- All drug information, including side effects and warning signs
- Time frame to notify for refills
- Original container; using the original container will ensure the nurse has the correct medication and dosing instructions. If the dose changes, send medication in the most current bottle.
Parents are also advised to deliver the medication to the school in person; sending it with a child increases the risk of the drug not making it to school, or proper information being forgotten and not delivered.
Educate Your Child
It's important to educate your child as much as possible about their medications. Your child should know the dose they need to take, and how often. They should be aware of the side effects of their medication, and what, if any, warning signs the drug may have. You'll want to talk to your child about the risks of overdosing, and about sharing medication. The older school children get, the more likely they'll experience pressure about their medications. Many kids will want to buy or bully ADD kids into giving them their medication. Talk to your child about the importance of taking their medication, and the risks of giving it to kids without ADD.
Especially for students with ADD, organization is very important. You'll want to help them organize their school desks and backpacks. If you do communicate with the teacher through notes send with your child, arrange a system that will work for you and the teacher. You may not be able to rely on your child for a timely delivery of the note. Consider having the teacher check a specific location for a note, and perhaps sign a sheet so you know they received it. If this is too complicated, it may be easier to communicate with the teacher on your own, via phone or email.
Photo Credit: ADHD Center
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