As a quality in-home daycare provider, you put child safety first. You’ve likely childproofed the area and follow safety procedures. But have you thought about medication safety? Use these tips to keep your daycare kids safe.
Make a Policy
Are you comfortable administering medication to the daycare kids in your care? One small dosing mistake could make a child very ill. It is a heavy responsibility for you as a care provider.
If you don’t want to mess with administering medications, let the parents know in a written policy. If a child does need prescription medications, it will be the parents’ responsibility to administer the medicine. That might mean stopping in during a lunch break to give a middle of the day dose to the child.
If you are comfortable with giving medications, check on your state’s laws on medication administration in in-home daycare centers. The state may have specific guidelines or qualifications in order for you to give medicine to a child in your care.
Create an authorization form that the parents must sign before you will give a child medication. Make the parent sign a new form each time a new medication is introduced. You might also ask for authorization or a note from the child’s physician to verify that the medication is safe.
Lock It Up
All medications in the home should be completely inaccessible to the kids in your care. That includes any prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs you have in the home. A locked medicine cabinet is a secure place for the medication. If that is not possible, move all of the medications to a bathroom that is inaccessible to the kids.
When you have a daycare child who needs to take medication, put the medicine in a secure place as well. Medications that are accessible to the children put them at risk for serious poisoning or even death.
Make It Official
Any prescription drug a parent asks you to administer should come in the original packaging with the dosing and instructions clearly marked. Never accept medication if it is not in the original packaging. Verify that the child’s name is on the label. Read over the label carefully to ensure you have the proper dosing and timing. Call the pharmacy or physician if you have any questions or concerns. Check the dosing every time you give the child medicine, even if is the same prescription.
Record and Communicate
Each morning, verify with the parent the doses that are required for that day. Ask the parent if she has already given the child a dose that day so you don’t give the child another dose too soon. Keep a written log of every dose of medicine you administer. Include the time and dose.
When the parent picks up the child, go over the log with her. Verify that she understands when you last gave the medication to the child. Communication is vital to avoiding an accidental overdose.