Making Proper Medication Use Part Of Back-To-School Planning

Armen Hareyan's picture

Back to school means: new school supplies, new teachers, new bus schedules, and ... medical and emergency center forms? While it may have been easy to monitor medicine over the summer, a new school year means students and families face the challenge of adjusting to new routines. Whether a returning or new student, preparation for a safe and healthy school year should include working with the school's administration to maintain your child's medical routines. As parents prepare students for the school year, there are many tips and tools to help ensure that important medications are taken as prescribed.

Lack of medication adherence -- not taking your medication as prescribed - can contribute to worsening of disease, preventable death, increased health care costs, and unnecessary hospitalization.

Adherence is a serious problem in children and adolescents. For example, adherence to prescribed pulmonary medication for asthma, one of the most common chronic diseases in adolescents was reported in 2003 to be as low as 30 percent, which means that only 3 out of every 10 adolescents who need the medicine took it as prescribed during the year.


Patients and their families should talk to their health care providers about proper medication frequency, benefits, potential side effects, allergic sensitivities, as well as any questions about cost and insurance coverage. Knowing the answers to these questions can help.

Whether your children are going to elementary school or to college, there are a variety of ways to help them maintain their medication routine.

For younger children:

* At home