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3.8.2 First Aid, Home Remedies and Prescribed Medicines

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This procedure applies to children placed in Southwark's foster homes, but the principles apply to the placement of all Looked After Children. Therefore, where Looked After Children are placed with parents, kinship carers or in placements not managed by the authority, the social worker must ensure these or other adequate procedures are applied.

There are separate Guidance and Procedures on the following:

Consents Guidance
First Aid, Home Remedies and Prescribed Medicines Guidance


Contents

  1. Home Remedies
  2. First Aid
  3. Prescribed Medication
  4. Disposal of Medication/Drugs
  5. Monitoring and Notifications
  6. Recording


1. Home Remedies

Home Remedies are medicines, suitable for children, which can be bought 'over the counter' without prescription, including Paracetamol.

Aspirin

Although Aspirin may be purchased 'over the counter', without prescription; it may not be given to children unless prescribed by a medical practitioner.

Other Home Remedies

The Home Remedies that are approved to be given to children are listed in First Aid, Home Remedies and Prescribed Medicines Guidance which also provides guidance on their use. 

Any Home Remedies kept in the foster home must be stored safely in a locked cabinet unless it has been agreed by the fostering social worker or the child's social worker that a child may retain and administer them.

Staff/carers must retain the keys for the cabinet.

If children are permitted to retain their own medicines, it should be stated in their Placement Information Record and suitable arrangements should be in place for storage and recording by the child.

However, these other Home Remedies should only be given to a child with Appropriate Consent or having consulted the child's GP to ensure that no adverse reactions may result.

No other Home Remedies, other than those listed in First Aid, Home Remedies Guidance, may be given to children without the written authorisation of a medical practitioner.

Home Remedies, other than Paracetamol, should only be given for a maximum of 48 hours. If the symptoms persist beyond that time the child should see a medical practitioner before further dosages are given. However, if Paracetamol is given for 24 hours and the symptoms still persist, the child should see a medical practitioner before further dosages are given.

Where children are not deemed to be capable of administering Home Remedies themselves, care must be taken to ensure they consume the product as required, in the presence of a carer.

Arrangements must exist in the foster home for regular stock checks to be undertaken of the Home Remedies kept there; and for the disposal of those no longer in use or out of date.


2. First Aid

Fully equipped First Aid boxes must be kept in each foster home and in each vehicle used to carry children.

Children may administer their own First Aid if they have a suitable First Aid certificate or under the supervision of a member of staff or carer.

If children are not deemed to be capable of administering First Aid to themselves or under supervision, it must be administered by a member of staff or carer.


3. Prescribed Medication

Prescribed medicines must be stored safely in a locked cabinet unless it has been agreed by the child's social worker or fostering social worker that a child may retain and administer those prescribed for them.

Staff/carers must retain the keys for the cabinet.

If children are permitted to retain their own medicines, it should be stated in the Placement Information Record and suitable arrangements should be in place for storage and recording by the child.

In any case, prescribed medicines should be kept in their original containers, clearly marked with the name of the person for whom they have been prescribed; and they should only be given to the named person, as prescribed or set out on the container.

Arrangements must exist in the foster home for regular checks to be undertaken of the Home Remedies kept there; and for the disposal of those no longer in use or out of date.


4. Disposal of Medication/Drugs

Even if children are permitted to retain and administer their own First Aid, Home Remedies or Prescribed Medicines, arrangements must exist in the home for undertaking regular checks of these items and arranging for their disposal as necessary.

Where medication is stopped before completion of prescribed courses or becomes out of date, it should be disposed of in a manner agreed with a pharmacist or taken to a pharmacist for disposal; a receipt obtained and a record of the disposal made. 

Medication should not be disposed of in other ways, unless agreed with a Pharmacist.


5. Monitoring and Notifications

The fostering social worker must ensure that arrangements exist for monitoring Home Remedies, First Aid or Prescribed Medicines given to children, and that these and other related health care procedures are adhered to.

Injuries, accidents, diseases or illnesses of a serious nature, should be notified to managers and others outside the home; as set out in Appendix 1, Designated Managers.


6. Recording

Where children are permitted to retain and administer their own First Aid, Home Remedies or Prescribed Medicines, the fostering social worker should ensure that the foster carers record it in the child's Daily Record.

End