Cough drops in school?

  1. What is your policy/guideline for cough drops in school for both elementary and secondary schools?

    For elem. OTC's we typically require an MD auth form, but I have learned one of my Health Paras have been giving them out with just a parent note. I am wondering if I should enforce written auth by MD for elem. for them or maybe rewrite our policy?
    •  
  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Jolie
    Quote from lissaq10
    I am wondering if I should enforce written auth by MD for elem. for them or maybe rewrite our policy?
    The answer to this depends upon your state law and your district's policy. In NE, OTC meds can legally be administered by trained school staff with only a parent's note. However, our district policy requires a physician's note for any and all meds, in addition to parent's authorization. So in my district, re-writing the policy wouldn't fly.

    I recommend keeping hard candy available for kids with scratchy throats and nuisance coughs. Works just as well, IMO, and no hassle over doctor's authorizations. I do make sure the little ones sit still while they suck on the candy, though.
  4. by   Flare
    in my state we need a MD order for all otc's, including cough drops. I get a lot of kids coming in with a pocket full of Luden's and a handwritten note from mom. When I call to get a doc's order, it seldom comes in, and i end up seeing the kid a dozen times that day because they are coughing and being disruptive to the class, so the teachers send them to me. I made mention to my boss to see if we could get a standing order for cough drops as long as they're provided from home and we have parental permission.
  5. by   chiefswife
    Year before last, we changed our policy to NO OTCs without a doctor order, this includes cough drops. Yes, I've had parents get mad at me, I calmly explain this is a district policy and give them the director's number if they want to complain about it.
  6. by   Spidey's mom
    Small hard candies/cough drops make me shudder with the risk of choking. Just a personal issue with me.

    Our policy is also - doctor's authorization for anything, even OTC. But you know what? We had to have a doctor's order for cough drops for inpatients too.

    Neosporin Lip Health - also and "no-no" and my son uses that. I'm not going to ask my very busy doctor for an authorization for that.

    Sometimes I think we are over-regulated.
  7. by   Heidi the nurse
    Quote from Spidey's mom
    Small hard candies/cough drops make me shudder with the risk of choking. Just a personal issue with me.

    Our policy is also - doctor's authorization for anything, even OTC. But you know what? We had to have a doctor's order for cough drops for inpatients too.

    Neosporin Lip Health - also and "no-no" and my son uses that. I'm not going to ask my very busy doctor for an authorization for that.

    Sometimes I think we are over-regulated.
    I think that sometimes too - especially after having to explain to a parent why they need an order from the doctor for chap stick. And knowing the eye rolling occurring in the doctor's office. I understand the need for it, but sometimes I think its pretty silly. Especially when I almost sent my 3rd grader off to school with a tube of chapstick, then had to explain to her that she would have to wait to use it until she got home from school because I'm not going to go to the doctor for that.
  8. by   AdobeRN
    We are allowed to dispense Tylenol, motrin, benadryl, cough drops & tums without a doctors order but the parents must supply them. All other OTC must have a doctors order.
  9. by   MinnieMomRN
    I personally don't think cough drops do much of anything, so I don't even bother getting a standing order for them. When I get a kiddo asking for one, I usually have them sit a bit, get a glass of ice water from the cooler in my office and tell them to keep their water bottle on their desk and sip it throughout the day. Our school is so dry in the winter, staying hydrated usually solves the itchy throat issue.
  10. by   Sudsy
    AdobeRN: do you work in a public school or private? I work in a private school and we give all those things w. just parental permission.
  11. by   mc3
    Our district prohibits giving out, or even children carrying, cough drops. Even w/MD or parent note. Too much liabiity, and I agree.
    mc3
  12. by   SchoolNurseHolistic
    I just don't believe in cough drops. Have you ever had a cough drop solve your cold symptoms? It's a "quick-fix," major choking hazard. What if the kid starts coughing while the drop is in her mouth? She could aspirate the thing. Additionally, kids view anything out of a wrapper as candy. So, before I came to this school and stopped giving out cough drops, there was a HUGE problem with kids constantly coming to the nurse for cough drops.

    If the coughing is genuinely that disruptive, the kid should be out of school. I'm sorry parents, I know you have jobs. Parenting will always be your job #1.
  13. by   100kids
    State law here requires both permission from Dr and parent for all meds even OTC. We do have a form parents can bring to their Drs given permission for the items we do use in the clinic (cough drops, neosporin, anbesol, sunscreen, sting kill wipes, etc.) so if they come back signed by both we can give them.

close