Re: School District’s Medicine Policy, ‘Ridiculous,’ Mom Says (The Daily News, Sept. 14).
I agree that children beyond a certain age should be allowed access to prescribed medication in order to alleviate physiological symptoms that may arise and inhibit their ability to function at school.
As an example, I must only consider my own daughter, a five year old attending kindergarten who suffers from sporadic “asthmatic” reactions to both environmental allergens (heavy dust, chemicals in some scents, air quality) and when she is fighting a cold or flu.
At home she can have unsweetened homeopathic cough syrup to assist in the coughing aspect in addition to the inhaler. She has a prescribed inhaler that is with her at all times and she can self-administer it as necessary at school, too.
The difficulty I see with a child taking a medication such as Benadryl lies in the fact that there are two types of sugars and flavourings in it that make it have a very pleasing bubble gum flavour.
If a medication is made appealing by way of flavour and generous use of sugars, then a young person may be biased in deciding how soon to take the medication, because
regardless of whether they need it, it tastes good.
Furthermore, according to benadryl.ca website, the following warnings are also to be heeded: may cause drowsiness, may cause excitability, and do not use when child engaged in activities requiring mental alertness.
What teacher would want a child on Benadryl in his or her class?
In the case of my daughter, based on our experience at daycare, the necessity arises for use of the inhaler one to three times a year. Otherwise, she is at home to monitor her condition.
The inhaler does not have a good “taste” — she used to say it was “yucky” — but the immediate relief far outweighs the lack of taste appeal.
I support the decision of the school district and would suggest to the mom in question, that she try an unsweetened product (they can be most likely compounded at a pharmacy) that is entirely sugar free (no artificial sweeteners, either) and see how
often her daughter requests this type of relief at home.