While medications can be life savers for ailing children, they can also be harmful if given incorrectly. More than 7,000 children arrive in emergency rooms each year as a result of medication reactions or errors.
Here are a few pointers about the most common medication errors:
- More is not better. Medications must be measured and given in the right amount and at the proper times to do the jobs they’re intended to do. Most medication errors concern over-the-counter pain and fever medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Don’t give them more often than shown on the label or suggested by your pediatrician. Watch out for combination cold medicines that contain pain relievers. Giving a combination cold medicine plus a separate dose of pain reliever could mean a double dose of the pain medication and a negative reaction for your child.
- Fever-reducing medicines can be given for temperatures over 101 degrees. Remember, though, that fever is the body’s way to fight infection, so don’t overdo the fever medications. Try lukewarm baths and cold beverages as alternatives.
- Help your children take ‘yucky’ tasting medications. Allow them to suck on a popsicle to numb the tongue or offer a favorite beverage afterward.
- Do not give any medication to children under the age of 2 years without speaking first to your pediatrician or nurse practitioner.
- Keep adult medications out of the reach of children. That means all medicines should be tightly capped and put away, out of view. Remind grandparents, too, not to leave pills in purses or on nightstands where children can reach.
At 24/7 Pediatric Child Centers, we’re always available to answer your questions about giving over-the-counter or prescription medicines to your children. No question is unimportant to us; even the most experienced parents have concerns and questions from time to time. We suggest you keep our office number posted somewhere that’s handy for anyone in the household to see. To schedule a visit, contact one of our three Jacksonville locations today!