Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Safety Tips for Giving Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medicines to Children

Did you know that the typical child gets between seven and twelve colds a year? As a parent, you know better than anyone how hard it is on the whole family when a child isn’t feeling well. But when a child gets sick, parents might not have all the information they need to safely and effectively help their child feel better, such as what medicines are right for children and how to determine correct dosage. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) Educational Foundation, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to providing public education on the appropriate and safe use of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, has created the video below that features pediatrician Ernest Leva, MD, and provides parents with tips and advice about commonly overlooked practices when giving medicine to children. Please watch it:

[Email subscribers, please click on the title of this post to access the video online.]

While there are a lot of over-the-counter (OTC) options available to help make your child feel better when he or she has a cold, it is important to remember that oral OTC cough and cold medicine should not be given to children under the age of four. Below are some general tips to remember when giving your child OTC medicines:

• Always read and follow the label.

• Do not use oral cough and cold medicines in children under the age of four.

• Always give the recommended dose and use the correct measuring device. Never use longer than the label instructs or at higher doses, unless your doctor specifically tells you to do so.

• Only use the medicine that treats your child’s specific symptoms.

• Never give two medicines with any of the same active ingredients.

• Never use cough, cold, or allergy medicines to sedate your child.

• Never give aspirin-containing products to children and adolescents for cold or flu symptoms unless told to do so by a doctor.

• Do not give a medicine only intended for adults to a child.

• Stop use and contact your doctor immediately if your child develops any side effects or reactions that concern you.

• Keep all medicines and vitamins out of your child’s reach and sight.

• Consult a doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider with any questions.

Visit http://otcsafety.org/ for more information and visit them on Facebook.


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