Make medicines part of your back to school planning

With the start of a new school year, NPS MedicineWise is urging parents to make medicines part of their family’s back to school planning for 2020. You, your child and their teacher should all know what medicines your child takes, where they are kept, and how to use them – especially in an emergency.

“There’s a lot to think about when your child starts or returns to school,” says Nerida Packham, pharmacist and manager of Medicines Line at NPS MedicineWise.

“Medicines are important for children who need them, but for them to be used safely and effectively, there are some things parents need to check as their child goes to school.”

Talk to the school about your child’s medicines

“If your child has a medical condition and they need to take medicine at school, you must notify the school.

“It is important to meet with your child’s teachers and support staff to discuss a medicine management plan so everyone knows when and how to give the medicine,” she says.

Know the school medicines policy

“Check with the school to find out what their medicines management policy is, and make sure your child is confident to ask a teacher for help if they’re feeling unwell or need access to their medicines.

Have an action plan ready in case of an emergency

“Some medicines are important in an emergency such as an anaphylaxis, asthma, or diabetes episode. It is important to have an emergency action plan stored with the medicine, and ensure you, your child and their teacher know to follow the action plan in case of an emergency.

“Ensure the action plan is up-to-date. Plans should be regularly reviewed by your child’s GP or specialist. Sometimes the plan will change as your child grows or the environment changes. For example, an asthma plan may need to be updated to deal with changing air quality conditions,” she says.

For more information on medicines and children going back to school, see information on the NPS MedicineWise website.

For more information on prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines (herbal, ‘natural’, vitamins and minerals) from a health professional, call Medicines Line on 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424) for the cost of a local call (calls from mobiles may cost more). Hours of operation are Monday–Friday 9am–5pm AEDT (excluding public holidays).


Media Contact

Spokespeople are available for media interviews

Media enquiries: Matthew Harris, NPS MedicineWise Communications & PR adviser: (02) 8217 9229, 0419 618 365 or [email protected]

Independent, evidence-based and not-for-profit, NPS MedicineWise enables better decisions about medicines, medical tests and other health technologies. We receive funding from the Australian Government Department of Health.