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I'm going to lay a criminal charge against my son's teacher

by , 26 June 2013
My son had a mild headache before school. But like all working parents, I had no choice but to send him to his pre-school. At 4 pm, my son was complaining to his teacher about the headache and because he was running a temperature of 38 degrees, the teacher gave him Panado syrup.

Every parent's nightmare

Now you might wonder what's wrong with that because he was not feeling well and was running a fever. But what if my son was allergic to paracetamol? What if the teacher forgot to tell me when I went to pick him up, and I gave him another dose of paracetamol to try and bring his fever down at 5 pm? He's only 4 years old and an overdose of paracetamol is fatal!


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Let's take a look at some of the questions our Health and Safety Club members been asking:

Are schools allowed to dispense medicine?


When a child is running a fever, can the teacher give Panado syrup or Calprol?


NO! Schools are NOT allowed to give children any medication unless the person giving the medication is a professional nurse with a dispensing licence.


What about cleaning a wound with Savlon or Dettol?


Savlon or Dettol can be used to clean wounds but it must be diluted. Used straight out the bottle both can cause a chemical burn.

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Should they have a qualified First Aider and what level should they be qualified at?


The number of first aiders on site would depend on the total number of children and staff. Level 1 first aid is the absolute minimum. Level 2 would be better. Depending on the age of the children being cared for, the first aider should be trained specifically to be able to attend to children.

FACT: giving children medication is a contravention of the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act!

FACT: not having a first aider at a school is a contravention of the OHSA!

2 legal documents your child's school should have

The Children's Bill is very clear regarding schools. The following must be in place at your child's school:

  • A registration certificate from the Department of Education
  • A registration with the local authority and a health clearance certificate

I have a headache - does anyone have a Disprin for me? Do you remember this bulletin about dispensing medicine at work? Oh, oh, go and read it again before your First Aider get's into trouble!
Until next time, stay safe and healthy,

FSP Business

P.S. Remember you can also get your questions answered and answer other people's questions - all you have to do is register on the Health and Safety Club, it's FREE




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