Some Iowa children take prescription medications during the day, which requires a little extra planning as they head off to school.

Joan McVoy at the Statewide Poison Control Center says parents need to make sure they’re following school district policies before sending their kids off to class carrying prescription drugs.

"They should always keep medications in their original container and don’t mix several different medications into one container and just make themselves more familiar with what the school’s medication policy is," McVoy says.

Most districts require all medications to be distributed by authorized school personnel.  

"I would say most policies are going to have you bring the medications into the school nurse and let them distribute the medication," McVoy says.  "Sending the medication in your child’s sports bag or lunch box is just not a good idea."

She suggests talking with your child about how important these medications are, even if they are sold over-the-counter.

"Sometimes people will have a sports cream, something to minimize a muscle pain, especially with kids going out for sports now. If those things get into an eye, it could be a problem," McVoy says. 

"Inhalers – kids should never share inhalers."

She says giving your child control of the medication puts them and other children at risk.

Nearly half of every call to the Poison Center involves medications. The tollfree hotline to the Sioux City-based center is 800-222-1222.