Summer camp counselors, caregivers and family members alike, can rest assured with these medication safety tips for children under their care. Read below to make sure you’re asking the parent/guardian the right questions about their child’s medications:
• Review the child’s complete medication list with the child’s parent/guardian.
This includes which medications are scheduled (For example: to be given twice daily at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.) vs. which medications are only to be given as needed. For as needed medications, make sure you fully understand when it is appropriate to give. For patients with asthma, ask if they have a copy of their asthma action plan.
• Can I crush any of these tablets? Do not crush extended release, controlled release or sustained release medications.
• Will any devices be needed to administer the medications?
For example: a spacer will be needed for an inhaler.
• Do any of the medications need to be stored in special conditions such as the refrigerator?
• How do I measure an oral liquid?
For oral liquids, make sure the dose is written in both mg and mL so that you understand how to draw up the dose correctly with an oral syringe. Ask the parents to bring the oral syringe and bottle adapter provided by the pharmacy. Avoid using a measuring cup or household teaspoon/tablespoon as this is not an accurate measurement.
• What is the duration of each medication and do they have stop dates?
For example: if the child is supposed to get seven days of antibiotic, how many days left do they need to take it?
• What are the common side effects your child experiences on these medications?
Lastly, make sure you have a contact number for the family, provider and the Poison Center Hotline (800-222-1222) should any questions arise.