3 Steps to Handling Your Child’s Medication at School

Health Professional Handing Pills to Patient

The easiest way to handle medication administration, is to arrange for dosing to fall outside of school hours. Sometimes that’s just not possible. In that case here are three tips on how to handle it smoothly.

1. Ask for the School’s Medication Administration Policy

The State of Maine requires that school districts develop a policy on medication administration in schools. Ask your child’s school for their medication administration policies.

The following parental responsibilities are provided by the Maine Department of Education.1 Check with each school for their specific policies as they may vary throughout the state.

  • Give the first dose of a new medication at home.
  • Provide the school with medication in the original container transported to school by the parent or adult designee.
  • Obtain duplicate bottle from pharmacy for school.
  • Provide a written primary care physician (PCP) order for any medications given for more than 15 consecutive days. A new PCP order is required for any medication change.
  • Inform the school nurse of changes in the student’s health status.

This step is very important. Each school varies in how they deal with students who do not adhere to the policies. Please know them before your child brings their medication to school.

2. Prepare Your Child’s Medications

Once you’re familiar with school policies, you can prepare your children’s medications for the school year. Below are some tasks you may be required to do.

  • Obtain an additional prescription bottle with a proper label to keep a supply at home and school
  • If medication is expired or will it expire soon, call the doctor for an updated prescription.
  • Obtain a doctor’s order for administering over-the-counter medications.
  • Obtain a doctor’s order for medications which will be taken for more than 15 consecutive days.
  • If you need two sets of medication, one for school and one for home, ask your pharmacy to split the medication into two containers.

Your pharmacy can most likely assist you with some of these tasks. Give them a call to tell them what you’ll need. In most cases, they can contact the doctor to get what you need.

3. Educate Your Child

To ensure children receive the correct medication and dosage while at school, they need to understand what they should be taking and when. Although trained to administer medications2, staff members administer many different medications to many children throughout the day and can make errors. Every time they take their medication, your child should know and pay attention to

  • what the medication looks like,
  • how much they should be taking,
  • and at what time of the day they should take it.

If your child suspects there may be something wrong, they should tell the individual administering it immediately.


  1. Medication Administration in Schools. State of Maine. Accessed 8/10/17. http://www.maine.gov/doe/schoolhealth/manual/documents/intro_medication_administration_in_schools.pdf
  2. Rule for Medication Administration in Maine Schools. State of Maine. Accessed 8/10/17. http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/05/071/071c040.doc


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Coastal Pharmacy & Wellness Staff

Coastal Pharmacy & Wellness Staff

Our staff specialties range from pharmaceuticals to nutritional health and wellness, to sports nutrition. We are here to share that knowledge. If we don't know immediately, we'll find out. Stop into the pharmacy or nutritional health and wellness department to ask questions relating to your specific needs, or send us an email.


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