A University of Iowa study finds daycare centers do a good job of getting the right medication to kids, but there is some room for improvement. U-of-I pharmacy professor Michael Kelly says the study was an outgrowth of a study on schools, and is believed to be the first study of daycare centers. Kelly says the study found the biggest problem in daycare centers was missing a dose of medication. He says probably most the medications children in daycare take wouldn’t lead to a catastrophic event if they missed a dose, but he says missed doses could lead to prolonged illness, or keep an antibiotic from working properly, and it can be an important issue. Kelly says one solution for the problem would be some training for the people who give out the meds. He says only about half the centers have such training now.He says even an hour or two a year of training for employees who give out the medicine would be very positive. Kelly says parents and pharmacists can also help.He says many times doses are missed because parents forget to bring the medicine into the daycare. Or, he says parents sometimes bring the medicine in an improper container, like putting pills in an envelope. He says pharmacists can help by providing one container for home and another for the daycare. Kelly says five to seven percent of the kids in daycare centers are taking some sort of medication. He says there has been an increase in the drugs given to kids. Part of the increase is due to more children with chronic conditions being mainstreamed into regular daycare centers. Kelly says he doesn’t want to indite daycares or schools — he wants to find out how to improve on the process. He says they already do a good job considering that delivering medication is not their primary mission. Kelly says the study was a small sample, so they’re now reviewing the practices of centers in all 50 states. The most common prescription drugs given to children in daycare centers were antibiotics, cold medications, allergy medications and pain/fever relievers such as Tylenol.
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