Can Daycares Give Medicine? [Parent’s Guide]

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Some children need daily medication. Whether it’s for an autoimmune disease, like juvenile diabetes, or a condition like ADHD, there are children who must receive some type of medication during the day.

If you’re a parent who has a child who does have an underlying health issue that requires regular medication administration, you’re probably concerned about a daycare’s ability to give your child their much-needed medicine.

Can daycares administer medications?

Daycare providers can legally administer medication to children. Most providers will ask parents to sign a release form and a doctor’s note stating the exact dosage and procedure for giving the medication. A child care center cannot legally turn a child away if daily medication is needed.

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Daycare and Medication

You may worry that you cannot work full-time or use daycare services if you have a child who requires daily medication.

Luckily, daycare centers can provide this medication and are generally very capable of managing different types of routine medical care. Still, there may be many questions you have about how medication is given in a daycare setting.

Below I’ll go through several questions I think you may have when it comes to how daycares handle giving medications to kids. Please note that if you have any specific questions it might be best to reach how to your daycare to see how they handle it.

If you haven’t found a daycare, or you’re not comfortable about the daycare you do have. You can go here to search for other daycare in your area.

Related: What Reasons Can My Daycare Kick Out My Child?

Frequently Asked Questions

No. The Americans With Disabilities Act states that daycare centers may not deny a child entry into the program or access to medication. There are some exceptions to this rule if the daycare center is a religious organization.

No. A daycare center does not have to hire a nurse or physician to provide on-site care protected by the ADA. If there is a situation in which a specific type of care cannot be conducted by non-medical personnel, the daycare center does not have to provide this service. Parents may wish to seek specialty daycare centers that have staff with medical backgrounds, though these types of centers are not common.

It depends. Some daycare centers do not allow parents to provide medical care on-site due to insurance reasons. However, most daycare providers are flexible when it comes to needed medication.

At a minimum, parents should provide documentation that shows exactly which medication needs to be administered, how the medication needs to be stored, the exact dosage, and the time of day it must be provided. Most daycare centers will have additional paperwork the parent must complete and sign for insurance reasons. Many also require a doctor’s note that details the necessity for the medication.

Sometimes. The ADA does not require that over-the-counter (OTC) medications be given to children unless necessary as ordered by a physician. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that daycare centers have a policy for offering OTC medications. Parents should be prepared to complete documentation that states these medications are allowed.

No. A daycare center cannot charge more for providing a service that is covered by the ADA. There are some instances in which a daycare center’s insurance is raised due to the medication that is onsite. That amount can be offset by charging more for childcare, but that amount must be spread equally across all families using the service. There is one exception to this rule. If the medication is not covered as part of the ADA and a daycare center does need to hire additional medical staff or purchase specific equipment, that charge can be billed to the family.

No. Children with any disability or disorder covered by the ADA must be permitted to a daycare center. This includes children with learning disabilities and diseases like HIV/AIDS. Those with easily communicable diseases, like seasonal flu or colds, may be sent home until they are well.

Yes. Many children have allergies. If a child has a known allergy that may lead to anaphylactic shock or severe swelling, they should be trained on how to administer epinephrine. The EpiPen should be provided by the parents with the appropriate paperwork that details how and when to use the medication.

Daycares can give over-the-counter medications like Tylenol you’ll need to fill out a medication consent form to give the daycare permission to do so.

Yes, daycares can give antibiotic medications. You’ll need to fill out a medication consent and detail the dosage, frequency, and how the medication needs to be stored.

For medicine to be administered the childcare setting will need the okay from the child’s pediatrician and permission signed from the child’s legal guardian.

Daycares Can Handle It!

Being the parent of a child who requires daily medication can be tricky. Luckily, most daycare providers are accustomed to administering medication. If you don’t have a daycare yet, go here to search for daycare services in your area.

Is this an issue you have encountered as a parent? What advice would you give to others in a similar situation? Let us know in the comments!

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