Medication Safety for Kids

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Medications provide relief and sometimes cure illnesses, but they also present a serious risk to kids. Both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are dangerous for children when they are not used properly. Understanding the possible effects of medications, as well as the proper use, decreases the risks of serious harm to your child.


Significance

Medication precautions protect your child’s health and well-being by reducing the chances of side effects. The precautions reduce the risk of your child taking too much of the medication, which could cause a severe reaction. Using medications carefully also teaches your child to exercise care when dealing with drugs, either prescribed or OTC.

Storage

Medications are best stored in cool, dry spots to make sure they maintain potency. You also need to place them in a location that isn’t accessible to your child. Even with child-proof caps, children are sometimes able to open medication packages. An unattended child could ingest medications, either her own or someone else’s. Store the medications in a spot that is out of sight and out of reach of your child.

When to Use Medication

As a parent, your natural instinct is to help your child get well. In some cases, medication isn’t effective for your child. Cold medications are no longer recommended for young children, who might experience serious side effects without much relief from the cold symptoms. Check with your child’s physician if you are unsure about the appropriateness of medication for your child’s specific condition.

Directions and Dosages

Following the directions and dosages exactly protects your child’s safety. Choose an infant or child version of the medication, depending on the age of your child. Read the directions and dosing chart fully before offering the medication to your child. If you are unsure of the dosage, ask the pharmacist or your child’s physician for assistance.

Considerations

The full prescription of antibiotics should be completed, even if your child stops showing symptoms. By not finishing the prescription, the bacteria could fight back, resulting in a worse illness for your child. Children should only take medications prescribed for them in proper dosages. Stay alert and turn on the light when giving your child medication at night. This allows you to give her the proper dose with a lower risk of mix-ups.

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