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Ministry warns against uncontrolled use of medications at nurseries

By Sawsan Tabazah - Feb 19,2018 - Last updated at Feb 19,2018

AMMAN — The Ministry of Social Development (MoSD) has warned nurseries against giving medications to children, especially those that might affect their activity levels, such as herbicides, the ministry’s Spokesperson Fawaz Ratrout said.

The warning was given in response to a journalist’s enquiry about a Facebook post in which a woman claimed that every child was asleep when she came to a nursery, suspecting that they were given substances to inhibit their activity, Ratrout told The Jordan Times.

The ministry, which is in charge of supervising and inspecting 1,100 licensed daycares and nurseries across the Kingdom, did not receive any complaints by parents on the matter, the spokesperson said. 

However, he stressed that giving medications to children must be done under the supervision of doctors working full- or part-time order at the nurseries, noting that these instructions ensure the protection of children against any attempt by workers to reduce their activity. 

The MoSD has already expressed its concerns regarding the medications sent by parents to the nurseries as they might be used “inadequately”.

However, working mothers have expressed how “hard” it can be for them to take days off when their children get sick. “I won’t be given a day off whenever my child is sick, so, of course, I will send my daughter’s medications with her so nurses can give them to her,” Hiba Abd Al Hadi said.

For her part, Luma Saad, a 27-year-old working mother of two, said it is difficult for her to stay home and give her baby antibiotics or inhalers, and it is much easier to call the nursemaid and instruct her about the dose and time for her child’s medicine. 

Ministry of Health Spokesperson Hatem Azrui said there are no clear-cut instructions by the ministry that prevent nursemaids from giving medications to children if they are prescribed by a doctor.

“Kids spend a long time at the nursery, some staying until 5 pm. It is therefore not logical to forbid them from being given prescribed medication if they are sick. However, it must be done under the supervision of both the parents and the nursery personnel,” Azrui stressed. 

Teacher Hanady Zreiq from Happy Land nursery and kindergarten claimed that giving a child medicine even under his/her mother’s instructions is prohibited by the Ministry of Health, saying that she refuses to carry out the responsibility.

“Even if the child is suffering from a fever, I won’t use herbicide, but I’ll use cold compresses until his/her parents come to pick up their sick child,” Zreiq noted. 

For her part, principal of Kids Land Academy nurseries and kindergartens Dima Qaisy said that she does not receive a child who is sick or take the responsibility to give him/her medicine.

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