OFTEN in high school health programs, treatment of minor illness is limited to first aid or to simple, nonspecific measures such as temporary bedrest or local application of heat. Support of such policies generally rests on the assumption that the responsibility for a pupil's definitive medical care is the parent's and not the school's. There is, however, some difference in interpretation in various school health programs as to what measures are considered "first-aid" or "nonspecific" and which are not. One measure about which there is a difference of opinion is administration of aspirin for relief of symptoms of minor morbidity.
For approximately five years it was the policy of a suburban Pittsburgh high school health service to dispense aspirin as part of the care of minor illness in pupils. The policy was based on the assumptions that such treatment carried no risk and that in many instances it contributed to