Parents and guardians should work with school staff to ensure that students with medical conditions receive appropriate care.
What is my responsibility as a parent or guardian if my school-aged child has a medical condition?
Your responsibility as a parent or guardian is to ensure that everyone at your child's school is aware of your child's condition. To do so, follow these steps:
- Notify the school about your child’s medical condition and arrange training for school staff if needed.
- Write a detailed plan (on a form provided by the school) regarding your child’s needs which includes the doctor's prescribed treatment and any medications which must be administered at school.
- This plan should be updated yearly or more often as needed.
- Provide any medication required such as an EpiPen for anaphylaxis or and inhaler for asthma.
- Supply a MedicAlert ID bracelet or allergy badge for the child to wear at all times. These items tell emergency staff your child's name, what condition they have, what treatment is needed, and who to contact in case of emergency.
What is the responsibility of the school in accommodating my child's medical condition?
Parents are responsible for making sure their child gets necessary medications and for informing schools about how to provide medical care for their child's condition. School boards recognize that there are rare times when it is essential for school staff to help a child by giving medications or medical care. Each school district may have different polices and forms. In general, schools have an obligation to:
- Keep a record of students who have identified medical conditions.
- Store medication/equipment in a location that is safe, at room temperature (unless noted otherwise), easily accessible, labeled and unlocked.
- Include a recent photo of the child, emergency procedure/instructions, prescribed medication in a medical kit. A package with the above items should be taken on all school field trips.
- Ensure that all staff (including temporary staff) are aware of the children in the school with severe medical conditions and ensure that they are trained to give treatment and/or prescribed medications in an emergency.
- Consult with the school's nursing support services nurse (a specialty care nurse who deals with students' special health care needs within the schools) if there are questions about the student’s care plan or with a public health nurse if there are questions about the student's support plan or delegated care plan.
What is a public health nurse's role?
A public health nurse's role is to act as a resource and consultant with students with medical conditions and to assist with referrals to professionals or programs as needed.
- HealthLink BC: Managing health concerns at school
- Government of B.C.: Managing health and medical conditions at school
- B.C. Ministry of Education: Managing diabetes, epilepsy, asthma, allergies, autism, ADHD and other conditions in school