Parents need to be on top of medication issues at school

If you have a child who requires regular medication during school hours, the start of every school year can be an annual nightmare.

Because school policies prevent kids from taking so much as an aspirin without having it dispensed by a nurse, you have to rely on a total stranger to make certain that your child gets his or her medication. Not only do mistakes sometimes happen — some nurses are less-than-conscientious about their responsibilities.

Take, for example, the second-grader who tried vainly to tell a school nurse she was dispensing the wrong medication. For her trouble, the child was threatened with a trip to the principal’s office. As a result, the frightened little girl swallowed a pill that she knew wasn’t hers on at least two occasions — one of which occurred after school officials had admitted there was an issue and promised the problem would be addressed.

What can you do if your child is given the wrong medication? Can you sue?

The answer to that question depends on what happened after your child took the wrong medication. If your child took medication that caused no particular ill effects or the effects were temporary, you probably don’t have a case. While the nurse’s actions were negligent, whether she was simply distracted or purposefully obstinate (as in the case above), there has to be sufficient harm as a result of the negligence to bring a case to court.

On the other hand, if your child was given a medication that put him or her in the hospital, you may certainly have a case. For example, a child that’s allergic to penicillin could have a serious reaction if he or she was given another child’s antibiotic. Similarly, if the medication caused a temporary reaction that led to an injury, you’d also have a good case. For example, imagine that your child is given another child’s allergy medication, which made him or her dizzy. If that dizziness led to a fall with a head injury or broken bones, that’s certainly a significant injury.

It’s important to understand that there are complex rules about suing a school district for a personal injury. While certainly not impossible, the time limits are tight and there are strict procedures that have to be followed. For information on how our firm can help protect your right to compensation, please visit our webpage.

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