Stocking OTC meds at elementary school level

  1. Taking a poll here- How many of you do NOT keep a stock of OTC meds for students? I ASSumed all schools did, but I'm noticing some do not- they have the parents bring in a supply if needed.

    We have always provided them and it seems to be getting out of hand with certain kids/ parents who will not provide an OTC med at home before school telling them "just go see the nurse she has plenty to give."

    Just looking for some pros/ cons I guess.

    Thank you!
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  2. 33 Comments

  3. by   ctate
    We stock topicals (itch cream, triple antibiotic ointment and orajel), tums and some other things. Tylenol, Ibuprofen, naproxen, pepto and such the parents must provide and give a parent note to give. I am on a high school campus.
  4. by   iggywench
    We are not allowed to give anything medicated that parents do not come to the school and sign in. If a student has a physical on file, the athletic trainers can give Tylenol, ibuprofen, and Benadryl.
  5. by   ruby_jane
    Quote from iggywench
    We are not allowed to give anything medicated that parents do not come to the school and sign in. If a student has a physical on file, the athletic trainers can give Tylenol, ibuprofen, and Benadryl.
    Ditto. And stock OTC meds are like spandex...Just because you can doesn't mean you should....
  6. by   moreoreo
    I'm at an elementary school and we do not have stock OTC meds, not even cough drops, and I have to say I prefer it this way. Our mindset is that we are here to manage unexpected health issues that come up during the school day, NOT to be a health "clinic" seeing students for issues for which they should have stayed home. To have Tylenol, ibuprofen, Tums, etc. on hand I do think implies that we are happy to manage any and all discomforts at school which could cause parents to send when they should have kept home. Also we have a school of almost 1000 so if we opened those floodgates I would probably actually drown

    We do however have stock EpiPens. I think it would be good to have stock albuterol as well. I can see the argument for Tylenol in the case of fever management but I don't think that's quite as immediately emergent, and I can already imagine all the parents who would decline to pick up their students for fevers if they thought they could take Tylenol and hang out here.
  7. by   BiscuitRN
    We keep children's liquid ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and Benadryl. We require signed documentation from the pediatrician and parent for these to be given. Many parents bring in a supply for their child if they take the medication regularly or if they want Benadryl taken along on field trips. I don't get the good flavors. I get the cheapest out of School Nurse Supply (which is usually that horrible cherry).
  8. by   Kittery
    I have worked for a district that stocks OTCs and for one that does not stock anything besides epi, and I definitely prefer not stocking meds. The students came in asking for ibuprofen/Tylenol for any little bump/scrape/tickle in their throat, which drove me nuts. I get that sometimes you need something for a headache to get through the day, but the kids knowing I had an "instant fix" in my clinic made them unable to tolerate any kind of discomfort.

    I can't count the number of times I told a student, "You know, ibuprofen is not generally recommended for stomachaches and in fact can make it worse." Every time the response was "well my mom gives me 3 of them at home when I get a stomachache and it really helps." (and no, they were not "female stomachaches")

    Hearing all the improper doses the kids got at home, with or without the parents, also drove me crazy.
  9. by   dakotadenise
    I'm a K-12 school and we don't stock any meds for any student. If parents want anything available for their kids, they have to bring it it and sign paperwork before I can give it. Only thing I have is generic itch and antibiotic cream.
  10. by   Windchaser22
    I don't stock OTC's (except neo, aquaphor etc) and am slowly putting an end to cough drops. I do have standing orders but the parents are required to fill out an OTC form and bring the meds in if they want Tylenol, visine, etc. I have little kiddos so the thought process is I don't want to be the first time kiddo has brand X pain/fever med to find out they are allergic.
  11. by   grammy1
    Our county does not stock any meds for students. Either the parent comes in to give it, or has the physician fill out a MAR and they bring the meds in for us to keep.
  12. by   BeckyESRN
    In the elementary, we only stock epi-pens and benadryl. We do have aquaphor, caladry, bacitracin, ect, but I hardly consider those OTC meds. I'm so glad that we do not have stock IBU, tylenol, ect because these kids would think they needed it for EVERYTHING! Seriously, ice and mints are bad enough!
  13. by   JenTheSchoolRN
    I'm in MS and HS and do carry stock meds, but they are limited to ibuprofen, acetaminophen, benadryl, tums and a couple of topicals (neosporin, hydrocortisone). Benadryl is really limited to mild allergic reaction as well. I also have stock Epi, which took forever to obtain and I am so grateful for it.

    Unfortunately in my district I have a lot of families that can't afford some OTCs at home and I am glad I have them for cramps, for example. But they are a double edged-sword.

    But when I worked at the elementary level, I kinda hated them. I would call home before dispensing them, even with standing orders. I still do this when debating dispensing a med for the first time to new-to-me 7th grader.
  14. by   MHDNURSE
    Quote from JenTheSchoolRN
    I'm in MS and HS and do carry stock meds, but they are limited to ibuprofen, acetaminophen, benadryl, tums and a couple of topicals (neosporin, hydrocortisone). Benadryl is really limited to mild allergic reaction as well. I also have stock Epi, which took forever to obtain and I am so grateful for it.

    Unfortunately in my district I have a lot of families that can't afford some OTCs at home and I am glad I have them for cramps, for example. But they are a double edged-sword.

    But when I worked at the elementary level, I kinda hated them. I would call home before dispensing them, even with standing orders. I still do this when debating dispensing a med for the first time to new-to-me 7th grader.
    I do the same at my school (but only have K-2). I also always call home because a kid may have a bad headache or fever and has already gotten something at home and they never remember that so I always call and ask if parents would like me to give something while child waits to be picked up (in cases of fever) or headache, etc.

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