This policy details how we support the children either at the onset of an illness or during a period of recovery. This policy therefore is for the attention of the staff and parent/carers.
Attendance is a crucial factor in children meeting their best outcomes, therefore we encourage parents to ensure that their children attend as much as possible. We recognise that illnesses can impact on attendance and that is why we allow children to attend with a slight cough, cold or recovering from an illness as long as the child can physically and emotionally cope.
In order to allow a child to attend nursery whilst recovering from an illness or coping with an on-going medical condition, the staff are permitted to administer prescribed medication such as antibiotics. The child will be able to attend nursery 24 hours after their initial dose; this will allow the medication to enter the child’s system and start them on their road to recovery, it will also present symptoms if the child has an adverse reaction to the medication.
Parents are asked to use their judgement regarding whether their child is well enough to cope with the nursery day even after the first 24 hours. The child’s Key Person will monitor their progress and keep parents informed. Parents may still be asked to collect their child early if the child is not coping throughout the day.
There are some cases in which the nursery is permitted to administer medication which is not prescribed. Young children can be prone to high temperatures; to ensure that children do not have a febrile convulsion, the staff will administer Calpol or Nurofen. When a child first starts at the nursery, the parents will be asked to complete a medication consent form which will remain on file; this will enable staff to administer Calpol/Nurofen as and when needed (parents will receive a phone call to inform them of their child’s high temperature). Staff will continue to monitor the temperature, and parents may still be required to collect their child.
We acknowledge that some children have an on-going medical condition such as allergies which if severe enough can lead to anaphylaxis; in these instances, the staff are permitted to use a number of remedies such as antihistamine medication which will alleviate the allergy. Failing that, an Epi-pen (adrenalin based medication) may have to be administered (see our Food and Allergy policy). Some of the nursery staff have been trained in administering Epi-pens and will refresh their training when undergoing first aid training.
Staff can administer creams/lotions/teething gels which can ease discomfort for skin conditions and teething pains respectively (with written consent).
Medication will only be accepted if:
it is in its original bottle/packaging,
it has not exceeded its expiry date
it has been prescribed for that child (applicable for prescribed medication)
Parents must fill out a consent form advising us of the medication, the dosage to be given, the last time that it was administered and the times it need to be administered throughout the day.
Staff must confirm with the parents and check the guidance on the box to ensure that the correct dose is administered (staff will not give the children more than the stated dosage even with parental consent).
If the Key Person is unsure of how much medication to administer, they must not administer any without first seeking advice from the Manager/Owner.
Staff must wash their hands prior to handling medication and ensure that the syringe/spoon is clean too.
The Key Person/Co-Key Person should administer the medication which must be witnessed by another member of staff.
The Key Person must complete and sign the medication form each time the medication is administered.
Parents must sign the medication form at the end of the day (the same form will be used if the child is on prescribed medication for a set number of days).
It is the Key Person’s responsibility to monitor the child’s health and any deterioration in ill-health should be reported to the Manager/Deputy Manager.
Medication will be returned to the parents at the end of each day.
Medication must be stored according to guidelines (fridge or cupboard.)
Medication must be kept out of reach of the children.
Unprescribed medication (Calpol, teething gels etc.) must be labelled with the child’s name and expiry date.
Epi-pens/antihistamine medication must be stored within easy access for emergencies but still out of children’s reach.
Medication must be checked periodically (each term) to ensure that it has not exceeded the expiry date.
Where a child is developmentally able, we will encourage them to help take their medication, this may mean allowing them to push the plunger in the syringe or to hold their inhaler.
Medication for ongoing conditions/illnesses:
At Chingford House Nursery we want to ensure that all children are not discriminated against due to an illness or condition. Every child is unique as is their condition/illness and how we support them. Discussions between the nursery, the parents and any health care professionals must take place before a child with specific health needs is accepted into nursery. Children will have a health care plan where appropriate, including information about dietary needs, allergies or any important issues to look out for.
Injections or any other medication which may seem intrusive, will not be administered until staff have been appropriately trained by the health care professionals (these medications will only be administered if prescribed).
Medication when on outings:
If children are on a course of medication (i.e., antibiotics), they will still need to be administered even if children are on an outing. In this event, the Key Person will inform the parent that the appropriate storage guidelines may not be observed and that the child may not get the medication at the exact times. The parent and Key Person will need to establish that the child is well enough to go on an outing.
When medication cannot be administered:
There may be instances when children may refuse to take their medication or staff are not able to administer it sufficiently, such as eye drops. In these situations, children will be encouraged as much as possible but will not be forced or such that their wellbeing is impacted negatively. Parents will be informed and, in some cases, parents may need to come to the nursery to administer the medication themselves (if necessary) or collect their child.
Children will not be given medication containing aspirin unless specifically prescribed by a Doctor.
Errors administering medication:
The medication policy is in place to ensure that we are supporting the children’s health and medical needs; it ensures that we have sought consent, that staff administer medication according to the parent’s wishes (in conjunction with the manufacture’s guidelines); all this ensures that we safeguard both the children and staff.
However, we acknowledge that, despite our best endeavours, mistakes can happen. If a dosage is missed, then it will be administered as soon as possible after the stated time. If the child is to receive several doses of medication throughout the day, the appropriate gaps in between will still be adhered to as much as possible. Parents will be informed at the time and spoken to in detail at the end of the day.
In the event that medication is given to the wrong child or the child has been administered too much medication, the parents will be informed immediately and the nursery will seek emergency advice via NHS111 or 999. We will monitor the child for any reactions and may ask the parents to take the child to their GP or hospital if appropriate.
Ofsted and the Local Authority may be informed; the Manager will carry out an investigation and report back to the parents. Any actions and recommendations will be brought to the full staff team to ensure that lessons are learned and that the nursery continues to improve its practice.
Policy created by: Yolande Farrell Manager
Signed off by: Owner
Date: June 2023