Re: pain relievers in first aid kit
Amick Robert (amick@SPOT.COLORADO.EDU)
Thu, 17 Jul 1997 15:39:09 -0600
Actually, it's the other way around. Aspirin can produce Reye's syndrome
(paralysis) in teenagers and children when given to control pain and fever
of a viral infection. The analgesic of choice is acetominophen (tylenol)
in combination with ibuprofen (advil/motrin) to control pain and fever in
The ideal solution is to have the parents send the over-the-counter
medications and/or prescription medications authorized by the family
physician for the particular Scout in question as part of his personal
first aid kit. That way, he can take whatever medications his doctor has
advised for a particular problem, and you are "out of the loop" other than
to act as a consultant if needed. This would also apply to emergent
medications such as "epi-pens" for allergic reactions/anaphylaxsis or
asthma inhalers. Some state laws on established summer camps require that
medications be turned over to the health care provider (EMT, Paramedic,
Nurse, et al) at the camp and administered at an appropriate time.
However, if you are doing a weekend campout or an event of your own, you
may inherit that responsibility.
If you are faced with a situation where the Scout has no personal
medications with him and is in need of assistance, other steps can be
You should check with a physician in your state who is familiar with local
laws on administering medications to other than your own family members.
In some instances it is good to get "standing orders" from a physician to
administer such medications, even though they are non-prescription items.
A written, notarized letter from a physician authorizing you to administer
such medications when indicated for Scouts on a particular event is
usually sufficient. It can also be extended to prescription medications
if the trip is such that you will be away from medical care (such as in a
"wilderness area") for an extended period, where such med's may be needed.
Additionally, on your parental permission forms, you should
include "medical treatment consent" language in which the parent/guardian
authorizes you to administer analgesics and/or prescription medications as
authorized under your "standing orders" from the physician to the
particular Scout if it appears to be necessary.
Again, check with your local physicians, attorneys, and council health
and safety chair, et al, on laws and
medical practices acts of your state to ensure that you can legally and
procedurally implement these practices. Otherwise, it may be inadvisable
to provide even over-the-counter medications.
Bob Amick, EMT-B, Explorer Advisor, High Adventure Explorer Post 72,
Boulder, CO; Longs Peak Council Exploring Training Chair
On Wed, 16 Jul 1997, Marc Grey wrote:
> Dear Fellow Scouters,
> We have a question which has arisen in our troop concerning whether or not
> we should keep aspirin or acetominophen in our first aid kit. Is it proper
> for the troop to administer these analgesics to scouts out of the first aid
> kit? I realize that aspirin would be safer than acetominophen due to Reyes
> syndrome but what is the policy in scouting regarding administering these
> medications and how do you deal with this problem in your troop?
> Marc Grey
> SM Troop 317
> Davie, Fla.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City