School Nurse Gives Kid Ritalin & He's Not Even On It

kid gets wrong medicine at school

If your child needs a medication during the school day, most districts have some pretty strict rules in place. Not only must kids report to the nurse where it's administered to them, many times doctors must fax over notes for something as relatively harmless as over-the-counter hydro-cortisone cream. But even with all these safeguards in place, a child in Independence, Missouri, was given another student's medication, and as you'd expect his mom is outraged.


Lasha Lee was justifiably upset after learning that her son Jayden was given Ritalin, a prescription medication typically used to treat children with ADHD, when he doesn't have that condition or any other. The child was taken out of his second grade classroom by the school nurse who asked only his first name before telling him to wash down the pill -- prescribed to another student named Jayden -- with water.

Being an obedient child, Jayden was fearful of contradicting an "authority" and took the 10 mg dose, which later had his heart racing, according to his mom. The boy explains: 

I’m like ‘I don’t take medicine but ok,’ ‘cause I have to listen to the nurse and everybody else at school.

Aww, the poor kid. He didn't want to get in trouble. But if anyone should be in trouble, it's the nurse.

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After parents have to jump through hoops, getting doctors' offices to call or fax copies of prescriptions, instructions, and the reasons for the medication in the first place, it doesn't seem too much to ask for school nurses will hold up their end and follow certain protocols as well.

This story is a great example of why we should discuss with kids the importance of sometimes questioning authority and not being afraid to speak up when they know something doesn't seem quite right. Just because someone is in a position of authority, that doesn't mean they can't make a potentially life-threatening error. 

It's a good idea to give your child the name of their medication as well as the dosage amount they need so they're armed with the right information. But, really, the burden shouldn't be on the kids. When someone accepts the position of school nurse, you expect them to be a professional. Not that negligence can't rear its ugly head in any career, but when it comes to treating sick kids, you want to know that you're  entrusting them to someone who not only cares but also knows what they're doing. 

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Plenty of moms lose faith in their school nurses after receiving calls in which mosquito bites are mistaken for chicken pox or a little congestion is misdiagnosed as whooping cough. But when it comes to something as serious as prescription medication, there's no room for mistakes. 

How would you react if this happened to your son or daughter?

Image © Ermolaev Alexander/shutterstock

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