Peggy McKibbin

Mother of two
School Nurse
Magnolia, Delaware

I love interacting with teens, and luckily, it is something I get to do nearly every day as a mom and as a high school nurse. I promote good health among my students and believe it is important to take a proactive approach to keep them healthy and ready to learn – which means keeping up with current trends, such as over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription (Rx) medicine abuse.

Teens are putting themselves at risk when abusing OTC or Rx medicines, and what I find most concerning is students often have the misconception that abusing these medicines is “safer” than illegal drugs. When teens abuse cough medicine in extreme amounts – sometimes more than 25 times the recommended dose to get high – there are real risks involved including dizziness, blurred vision, confusion, vomiting, and rapid heartbeat.

After hearing about this problem, I knew I needed to bring attention to this serious issue and help educate my students about the dangers of both OTC and Rx medicine abuse. Through my involvement with the National Association of School Nurses, which provides school nurses and parents with tools to help address teen medicine abuse as part of the Smart Moves Smart Choices and Home to Homeroom programs, I have worked to educate my students and my community on the dangers of medicine abuse.

In addition to being a school nurse, I am involved in local summer camps and community activities where I stay focused on the ongoing education of students and parents in my community. I like to use “teachable moments” – opportunities that come up at any time and provide an “in” for talking to your children about medicine abuse – to make an impact.

I am very passionate about creating a healthy and safe environment for my community and students which includes preventing medicine abuse. As one of the Five Moms, I am thrilled to have an even bigger platform to reach families and raise awareness of cough medicine abuse. It is my hope that my new role will help bring awareness of medicine abuse to parents, teens, communities, and schools nationwide.