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(14.17) Can my child administer medications to himself without the involvement of district staff?

(14.17) Can my child administer medications to himself without the involvement of district staff?

Yes.  Students in special education or with Section 504 plans have the right to self-administer medication if their individualized plans require it.  [5 C.C.R. Sec. 610(d).] 

But, students in regular education may also self-administer medication. As long as the district receives certain written statements from your child’s health provider and you, he can carry and self-administer prescription auto-injectable epinephrine or inhaled asthma medication for asthma.  The student’s physician or surgeon’s statement shall include the medication’s name, method, amount and administration time schedules.  You will be required to give your written consent that your child may self-administer and that school staff may communicate directly with your child’s health care providers.  In addition, districts may provide epinephrine auto-injectors to trained personnel to provide emergency medical aid to persons experiencing an anaphylactic reaction.  [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 49414(a).] 

In addition, if your child has diabetes and is able to self-test and monitor his blood glucose level, he will be allowed to test his level and provide diabetes self-care at school, upon your written request.  This can occur in the classroom or any other area of the school, during any school-related activity and (upon your specific request) in a private location.  You will also need to provide authorization from his health care provider. [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 49414.5(c).]

You will also need to provide a liability release (waiver) in the event your child suffers an adverse reaction from self-administration.  [Cal. Ed. Code Secs. 49423(b)(2) & 49423.1(b)(2).]  A general release from civil liability would not protect a school district from liability for injuries resulting from a staff person’s negligence.  Any document describing a particular health care service involving school staff must be very clear as to how the service is to be performed.  Districts may provide volunteer school personnel with training on emergency medical assistance for students with diabetes who experience severe hypoglycemia.  [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 49414.5(a).]  There is no requirement that anyone volunteer for this training.  A copy of the California Department of Education (CDE) Legal Advisory, Sample 504 Plan and Sample Diabetes Medical Management Plan are available at www.dredf.org/.