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Administering Medicines

Safeguarding and Welfare Requirement: Health

Providers must have and implement a policy, and procedures, for administering medicines. It must include systems for obtaining information about a child’s needs for medicines, and for keeping this information up-to-date.

Policy Statement

While it is not our policy to care for sick children, who should be at home until they are well enough to return to the setting, we will agree to administer medication as part of maintaining their health and well-being or when they are recovering from an illness. We ensure that where medicines are necessary to maintain health of the child, they are given correctly and in accordance with legal requirements.

In many cases, it is possible for children’s GPs to prescribe medicine that can be taken at home in the morning and evening. As far as possible, administering medicines will only be done where it would be detrimental to the child’s health if not given in the setting. If a child has not had the medication before, it is advised that the parent keeps the child at home for the first 48 hours to ensure there are no adverse effects, as well as to give time for the medication to take effect.

Our staff are responsible for the correct administration of medication to all children in the setting. This includes ensuring that parent consent forms have been completed, that medicines are stored correctly and that records are kept according to procedures. Where possible our named first aider Tracey Jones is responsible for the overseeing of administering medication. We notify our insurance provider of all required conditions, as laid out in our insurance policy.


  • Children taking prescribed medication must be well enough to attend the setting.

  • We only usually administer medication when it has been prescribed for a child by a doctor (or other medically qualified person). It must be in-date and prescribed for the current condition.

  • Children's prescribed medicines are stored in their original containers, are clearly labelled and are inaccessible to the children. On receiving the medication, the member of staff checks that it is in date and prescribed specifically for the current condition.

  • Parents must give prior written permission for the administration of medication. The staff member receiving the medication will ask the parent to sign a consent form stating the following information. No medication may be given without these details being provided:

  •  the full name of child and date of birth;

  • the name of medication and strength;

  • the dosage and times to be given in the setting;

  • the method of administration;

  • how the medication should be stored and its expiry date;

  • any possible side effects that may be expected; and

  • the signature of the parent, their printed name and the date.

  • The administration of medicine is recorded accurately in our medication record book each time it is given and is signed by the person administering the medication and a witness. Parents are shown the record at the end of the day and asked to sign the record book to acknowledge the administration of the medicine. The medication record book records the:

  • name of the child;

  • name and strength of the medication;

  • date and time of the dose;

  • dose given and method;

  • signature of the person administering the medication and a witness; and

  • parent’s signature.

  • If the administration of prescribed medication requires medical knowledge, we obtain advice before the child starts.

  • No child may self-administer. Where children are capable of understanding when they need medication, for example with asthma, they should be encouraged to tell a member of staff what they need. However, this does not replace staff vigilance in knowing and responding when a child requires medication.

Storage of Medicines

  • All medication is stored safely in a lockable cupboard or refrigerated as required. Where the cupboard or refrigerator is not used solely for storing medicines, they are kept in a marked plastic box.

  • All the staff are responsible for ensuring medicine is handed back at the end of the day to the parent if needed.

  • For some conditions, medication may be kept in the setting to be administered on a regular or as-and-when- required basis.

  • Tracey checks that any medication held in the setting, is in date and returns any out-of-date medication back to the parent.

Medicines and inhalers are put into plastic containers clearly labelled with the name and photograph of the child and are stored in the cupboard above the sink. The name and photograph of the child and the name of their medicine is displayed the outside of the cupboard. Any medicine needed to be kept in the fridge would be stored in a clear plastic bag with Childs name written on it and a note put on the cupboard door above the sink with the Child’s name and time the medicine is to be given.

Children who have long term medical conditions and who may require ongoing medication

  • We carry out a risk assessment for each child with a long term medical condition that requires on-going medication. This is the responsibility of our supervisor alongside all the staff. Other medical or social care personnel may need to be involved in the risk assessment.

  • Parents will also contribute to a risk assessment. They should be shown around the setting, understand the routines and activities and point out anything which they think may be a risk factor for their child.

  • For some medical conditions, key staff will need to have training in a basic understanding of the condition, as well as how the medication is to be administered correctly. The training needs for staff form part of the risk assessment.

  • The risk assessment includes vigorous activities and any other activity that may give cause for concern regarding an individual child’s health needs.

  • The risk assessment includes arrangements for taking medicines on outings and advice is sought from the child’s GP if necessary where there are concerns.

  • An individual health plan for the child is drawn up with the parent; outlining the key person’s role and what information must be shared with other adults who care for the child.

  • The individual health plan should include the measures to be taken in an emergency.

  • We review the individual health plan every six months, or more frequently if necessary. This includes reviewing the medication, e.g. changes to the medication or the dosage, any side effects noted etc.

  • Parents receive a copy of the individual health plan and each contributor, including the parent, signs it.

Managing medicines on trips and outings

  • If children are going on outings, the key person for the child will accompany the children or another member of staff / assistant who is fully informed about the child’s needs and/or medication.

  • Medication for a child is taken in the plastic box clearly labelled with the child’s name. Inside the box there is a copy of the consent form with details of the name and dosage of the medicine to be administered and a record of administered medicine form to record when it has been given.

  • On returning to the setting the form is put into the record book and the parent signs it.

  • If a child on medication has to be taken to hospital, the child’s medication is taken in a sealed plastic box clearly labelled with the child’s name and the name of the medication. Inside the box is a copy of the consent form signed by the parent.

  • This procedure should be read alongside the outings procedure.

Asthma attack – Procedure to follow in the event of an asthma attack:

  • Ensure that the reliever inhaler is taken immediately

  •  Stay calm and reassure the child

  • Help the child to breath by ensuring tight clothing is loosened

  • Call the child’s parent/carer at the onset of an attack

Asthmatic Emergency

If a child with asthma is looking blue in colour, is unable to talk and / or is looking disorientated, these are major signals for which an emergency ambulance should ALWAYS be called.

During an asthmatic emergency the following procedures are followed:

  • Keep calm. Talk to the child, reassuring them that will be helped and looked after.

  • Give the child space to breath, loosen tight clothing. If possible clear other children from the area.

  • Allow the child to find a comfortable position, do not insist they lie down, they will probably find it more comfortable to sit upright.

  • Use reliever inhaler, give two puffs (if using a spacer device, give one puff of inhaler to child every 5 breaths). Shake reliever inhaler before each puff.

  • If child’s respiration rate returns to normal, continue to observe him/her closely and the parent/carer is  informed of the incident.

  • Written procedures by Healthcare professional will be followed for individual children when required.

  • If there is no immediate improvement, but the child is not distressed continue to give one puff of reliever every minute for five minutes. (A polystyrene cup may be used as a temporary spacer in an emergency) If symptoms do not improve, call an ambulance.

  • If at any time you feel that the child is becoming more distressed or the situation is becoming more serious, call an emergency ambulance (999) state clearly “EARLY YEARS ASTHMA ATTACK”. Stay with the child, using the routine of one puff of reliever every minute, continue to administer inhaler, until child’s condition improves or emergency help arrives.

  • Try to keep a note of time of attack and the number of ‘puffs’ of inhaler given prior to the ambulance/parents/carers arriving.

NEVER use a paper bag to treat an asthmatic attack.

All asthma attacks must be recorded in the accident book along with details of medication administered on the

administering medicine form. 

This must be signed by a member of staff and by the child’s parent/carer.

The procedure for contacting the Emergency Services is on the wall by the telephone inside Sparklers.

Legal framework

  • The Human Medicines Regulations (2012)

This Policy was adopted by Sparklers Pre-School


Sarah Hodges

Role of Signatory:

Pre-School Supervisor

Issue Date:

September 2023

Next Review Date:

October 2024

This Policy was approved by Sparklers Pre-School Committee


Role of Signatory:

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