Can students take medication themselves?
Parents who wish their child to self medicate must complete the section about self administering on the request for administering medication form provided by the school.
Where a student is living independently, he or she may provide consent themselves.
The principal is responsible for making a judgement about whether a particular student can self administer safely. The principal may wish to seek medical advice on this issue.
In addition, the school has a duty of care to take reasonable steps to ensure that self administration is carried out safely.
More supervision is required in situations where students are less mature or able and are more reliant on adult assistance.
The school's decision to support any parental request for a student to self administer prescribed medication will be influenced by the following:
- the ability and maturity level of the student
- relevant parental and medical advice
- the complexity of the administration of prescribed medication procedure
- the willingness of the student to self administer
- the level of support required in an emergency
Where students are able to self medicate, their involvement in developing safe procedures for administration of the prescribed medication will assist in gaining their cooperation. For example, some students may prefer to self medicate in the First Aid room.
The prescribed medication still needs to be stored in a secure and accessible location/s except in circumstances where students need to carry their prescribed medication for immediate access.
For some conditions, including asthma and anaphylaxis, prescribed medication such as asthma relievers (eg Ventolin) or adrenaline auto injectors (eg EpiPen) may need to be carried either by the student or by a staff member who has volunteered. Students who have cystic fibrosis require pancreatic enzyme supplements (capsules) to aid digestion. These enzymes are always eaten with food and will usually need to be carried by the student in their lunch box or school bag.