Medication policy

When dealing with medication of any kind in the nursery, strict guidelines should be followed.

Prescription medication

Prescription medicine can only be given to the person named on the bottle for the dosage stated.

Medicines should be in their original containers.

Those with parental responsibility of any child requiring prescription medication should allow a senior member of staff to have sight of the bottle. The staff member should note the details of the administration on the appropriate form. Another member of staff should check these details.

Those with parental responsibility should give prior written permission for the administration of each and every medication, however we will except written permission once for a whole course of medication or for the on-going use of a particular medication under the following circumstances:

    1. The written permission is only acceptable for that brand name of medication and cannot be used for similar types of medication, e.g. if the course of antibiotics changes, a new form will need to be completed
    2. The dosage on the written permission is the only dosage that will be administered. We will not give a different dose unless a new form is completed
    3. Parents should notify us IMMEDIATELY if the child’s circumstances change, e.g. a dose has been given at home, or a change in strength / dose needs to be given

The nursery will not administer a dosage that exceeds the recommended dose on the instructions unless accompanied by a doctor’s letter.

The parent or guardian should be asked when the child had last been given the medication before coming to nursery; this information should be recorded on the medication form. Similarly when the child is picked up, the parent or guardian must be given precise details of the times and dosage given throughout the day. The parent’s or guardian’s signature must be obtained at both times.

At the time of administering the medicine a senior member of staff will ask the child to take the medicine, or offer it in a manner acceptable to the child at the prescribed time and in the prescribed form. (It is important to note that staff working with children are not legally obliged to administer medication).

If the child refuses to take the appropriate medication then a note should be made on the form.

Where medication is “essential” or may have side effects, discussion with the parent should take place to establish the appropriate response.

Wherever possible ask parents to request that GPs prescribe the least number of doses per day, i.e. 3 x daily, rather than 4 x daily.

It is important that children are not subjected to the rigours of the nursery day, which requires socialising with other children and being part of a group setting, when they have first become ill and require a course of antibiotics. Our policy, therefore, is to exclude children on antibiotics for the first 48 hours of the course.

Where medication is “essential” or may have side effects, discussion with the parent will take place to establish the appropriate response.

Non-prescription medication

The nursery will administer non-prescription medication for a period of three days, dependant on the medication or the condition of the child. After this time medical attention should be sought.

If the nursery feel the child would benefit from medical attention rather than non-prescription medication we reserve the right to refuse nursery care until the child is seen by a medical practitioner.

If a child needs liquid paracetamol or similar during their time at nursery, such medication should be treated as prescription medication with the responsibility being on the parent to provide the medicine
Follow the previous medication procedure.

For any non-prescription cream for skin conditions e.g. sudocreme, prior written permission must be obtained from the parent/guardian and the onus is on the parent to provide the cream which should be clearly labelled with the child’s name

If any child is brought to the nursery in a condition in which he/she may require medication sometime during the day, the manager will decide if the child is fit to be left at the nursery. If the child is staying, the parent or guardian must be asked if any kind of medication has already been given, at what time and in what dosage and this must be stated on the medication form.

The nursery DOES NOT administer any medication unless prior written consent is given for each and every medicine.

In the case of medication that may need to be given to a child in the case of them becoming ill during the day, e.g. liquid paracetamol for temperature reduction, parents will be contacted as soon as possible to ensure all details are correct and that they agree with the dosage being given. If parents can’t be contacted it is then the managers decision.

The nursery will not administer liquid paracetamol or similar until the child has been in nursery for 4 hours.

Injections, pessaries, suppositories

As the administration of injections, pessaries and suppositories represents intrusive nursing, we will not administer these without appropriate medical training for every member of staff caring for this child. This training is specific for every child and not generic. The nursery will do all it can to make any reasonable adjustments including working with parents and other professionals to arrange for appropriate health officials to train staff in administering the medication.

Staff medication

Staff are asked to declare, to the manager, any medication they may be taking and provide information regarding any side effects the medication may have to ensure they are still able to work with children. Staff medication on the premises must be securely stored and out of reach of the children.

The first aid box for staff should be kept in a readily accessible position, but out of reach of the children.

First aid boxes should only contain items permitted by the Health & Safety (First Aid) Regulations Act 1981, such as sterile dressing, bandages, and eye pads. No other medical items, such as paracetamol should be kept in the first aid box.


All medication for children must have the child’s name clearly written on the original container and kept in a closed box which is out of reach of all children and under supervision at all times. If this box is left unguarded at any time throughout the day, we have a procedure in place to ensure the safety of any child or adult in the nursery, including visitors, parents and siblings able to access the area.

Emergency medication, such as inhalers and EpiPens, will be within easy reach of staff in case of an immediate need, but will remain out of children’s reach and under supervision at all times.

Any antibiotics requiring refrigeration must be kept in an area inaccessible to children.

All medications should be in their original containers or they will not be given. All prescription medications should have the pharmacist’s details and notes attached to show the dosage needed and the date the prescription was issued. This will all be checked, along with expiry dates, before staff agree to administer medication.

If you would like a PDF copy of the policy you can download it here