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Refusing To Apply Medication


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I'm feeling in need of a bit of reassurance - you're all good on here for that! Also maybe the issue I'm raising may be of interest to others.

 

Last week a parent filled in a form authorising us to apply a non-prescription cream because of a skin conditon that she was seeing a specialist about very shortly. [i forget the exact details] With the revised EYFS in mind I was fairly happy to accept this: I do know the family quite well and had no qualms really in the circumstances.

 

Today the parent talked to me about authorising another person to collect the child, and I think in doing this she forgot to advise me of any changes to the child's medication. The child then asked for cream to be applied at lunchtime. When we went to her bag, there were 3 different creams in, none of which was the one consent was signed for last week. The child said she needed the one in the brown jar. This had absolutely no label on it.

 

I telephoned the parents at work - only father was there. She did need the brown cream - it was a homeopathic ointment, non-prescription, but whoever they had seen last week said it was 'as good as anything'. I said it put us in a difficult position, a) as it wasn't the one we had authorisation for :o becuase it was unlabelled. As he works locally I suggetsed he came round to apply it - he was too busy. He said without it her skin probably would flare up again, but if we couldn't apply it there was nothing else to be done, and, basically 'goodbye, I'm too busy to talk further'.

 

I don't really think there will be any comeback, but I'm left feeling very uncomfortable, especially if the child does flare up. Yet I still think I did the right thing. Do you think I did?

 

By the way, we use the 'Managing Medicines in Schools & Early Years Settings' forms which specifically ask for the name & strength of the medication, expiry date etc. This was all explained to the mother last week. I just didn't feel verbal consent over the phone was enough - I'm still responsible for any problems if this unknown substance is applied.

 

What would you have done?!

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HI Weightman

I would have done EXACTLY the same as you did :o

 

Never in a million years would I have applied unlabelled unauthorised ointment to a child even after speaking to the father on the phone.

 

If the child's skin flares up I really do NOT think you are to blame. I understand mum may have forgotten to mention a change of ointment but Dad was given the option to pop round and apply and he chose not to. He made that decision in the knowledge that the child's skin could flare up without treatment and I see that as him saying it was OK to not apply it.

 

Hope this reassures you and I am sure others will be along to support you too xD:(:(

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The same.. you only had consent for the medicine specified and signed for the previous week.. any changes / new medications should be on another form..

 

Personally even with a consent I would be very unhappy/concerned about applying a cream in a pot which was not labelled correctly.. as you said you do need named, expiry dates etc .. who knows what is in the pot and how would you know the contents are the same each day..

 

The child may 'flare up' but this was a parental ' oversight' and should be their responsibility to inform you, not yours to second guess them.

 

 

Inge

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as a thought.. just ensure you document it all.. times of calls. who you spoke to etc.. as I am sure you have done.. just in case there is comeback/ comments/complaint...

 

As you may guess from experience of mountains from molehills I now document everything!!

 

Inge

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Thank you! That's exactly what i thought. I think I was just feeling bad because the child kept asking us to put it on & was clearly itchy! We were having a 'mock inspection' from the LEA at the time & I think the pressure got to me a bit, even though it went very well. [The EYAT was in the playroom so was unaware of any of this, by the way, and had gone before the question of the new cream arose or I would have asked her]

 

And yes, you're right about documenting, Inge! last week I reported a graze to a child's nose, which to cut a long story short resulted in us taking him to the surgery to be 'glued'. I only contacted OFSTED because we took him off premises: thought I'd better be safe. I was put through to Complaints & [?] who asked loads of questions & said it was being logged as a serious incident & they would get back to us if they needed any more info. All because Dad was working in London & Mum had ben working nights & had turned off her phone! [We had Dad's permission etc]

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Please be reassured i would have done EXACTLY the same and have done on many occasions. Just imagine if the child had flared up after you had applied the cream, where would you have stood then.

 

Good advice from inge - document everything, always very awkward to deal with parents in these circumstances, but you are ensuring the child's best interests so no problem :o

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I emailed Ofsted about the application of suncream, as so many people ar etold so many different things by advisors.

My email is here:

 

"Could you please give me advice on the application of suncream to young children?

 

Various advisors from LEA's around the country are saying different things and nor the EYFS document or the old day care standards have anything to say on the matter.

 

Are we, as fully CRB checked members of staff, allowed to put suncream on a child or to aid the child in doing it themselves? Do we need daily permissison from parents/carers to apply the cream or is one signed permission form on entry to the setting suitable?

 

Any other advice you can give me regarding this would be most welcome.

 

Thank you"

 

Their reply:

Thank you for your e-mail.

 

National Standard 7 requires the registered person to promote the good health of children in their care. Applying sun protection cream / sun lotion is a sensible precaution if children are outside. However you should obtain parental agreement about applying sun protection cream to children, and follow parental wishes with regard to the type of cream used. If you intend to provide your own sun protection cream to offer to all children; or to offer to those without their own cream then you must make it clear to parents that this is your policy and give parents the option to agree.

 

However should you require any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Regards,

 

Suzie Bundock

Customer Service Advisor

Ofsted - National Business Unit

TEL: 08456 404040

 

As un prescribed cream for a skin condition would fall into this catagory the same rule would apply.

 

You did the right thing weightman :o

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I would also (and have done!!) the same as you....................no permission, no application! Unlabelled cream=no application! parents are busy and as fallible as the best of us, but they are also only too ready to kick up a fuss if we get things wrong.I always tell them politely that it's to protect THEM, as parents as well as us, as staff that we need labels and permissions and they usually concede the point.

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Guest Wolfie

I would have done exactly the same as you - permission slip needs to specify exact name of medication, dosage/application instructions, date and parent signature, without those, I wouldn't apply it under any circumstances.

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I'd have done the same.

 

I had a parent last week wanted cream applied - went through the form - name, reason, times- then, when we got to nitty gritty - name of medication, amounts etc - they expected me to provide the cream- and then got very upset/annoyed 'cos I never had any!! (this was not suncream by the way)

 

xxxx

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Even with full and signed permission slips, I would never apply from an unmarked jar. If it's unmarked how do you know what is in it. Each medication should have its own signed form. You wouldn't have a form for 'brown jar, with no name' would you??? :oxD:(

 

Narnia is right, parents do make mistakes and get distracted but are all too quick to jump on us when things go wrong

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I have always thought that any medication or cream of this sort should not be kept in the childs bag in any case. Our policy was that anything like this should be clearly labelled with the child's name and instructions for use and kept somewhere secure on the premises. If it is in the child's bag then could other children potentially get hold of it and if it is unlabelled, who knows what it may contain!

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