CHARLOTTE -- With the extreme cold, a lot of people are likely applying layer after layer of lip balm or lotion.

But in one school district, students must first have a doctor sign a medical form before they can apply it on themselves.

A mother of a CMS student was advised this week not to make an issue of what her son looked like after his lip balm was confiscated. 

"His entire mouth is red, just raw from him licking his lips all day," said the mother.

A teacher later sent an email explaining her son's ChapStick had been confiscated.

"My child's lip moisturizer was considered a medication, and [they said] that I would need to complete a form," said the mother.

The mother explained she was told that CMS requires a medical authorization form with a doctor's signature as well as a questionnaire indicating how often the student should take the medication.

The school's nurse supervisor, the mother says, later responded to her objections, explaining that ChapStick has ingredients to soothe and heal cracked lips, and is, therefore, medication.

CMS never responded to our repeated emails requesting an explanation.

However, Holly Smith, a pediatrician with Signature Health tried offering one.

"These over-the-counter products get classified as over-the-counter medications in the school's mind," said Smith.

Dr. Smith says dry skin is more so a side effect of the blustery, bitter cold, not a medical condition.

"And it doesn't really require a doctor to make the diagnosis," said Smith.

Despite that, she says it's very common to sign these type of forms when it comes to lotions and lip moisturizers.

"It takes time out of our day of taking care of patients to have to stop and fill out a form....Some practices will charge for various forms to be completed," said Smith.

Though Spectrum News did not find any mention of this policy anywhere in the CMS Parent Student Handbook other school districts in counties such as Anson, Stanly, Cabarrus and Richmond do mention it in theirs (shown below).


Cabarrus County Parent Information Handbook:


  • ​Students can self-administer/carry 1 or 2 doses of over the counter medicines in the original container with a note from parent/guardian.
  • ​Students may self-administer/carry prescription, lifesaving medications such as asthma inhalers, epi-pens, or insulin with a written order from the doctor and parent/guardian permission and will need to sign a selfadministration contract with the school nurse. 

Watauga County Schools Policy



  • ​​Consistent with the above requirements, over-the-counter medications will only be given during school hours by school personnel if they are in the original container complete with instructions.
  • Parents who want school personnel to administer over-the counter medication must provide the medication to school personnel pursuant to the requirements of this policy.