Safe Use Of Medicines
Medicines work best if they're given correctly. Keep the following points in mind.
- First: Give the correct dosage for your child. Read the directions on the label carefully. Measure the dosage out exactly in a syringe or measuring spoon. The size of regular kitchen spoons varies all over the map.
- Second: Give the medicine at the correct interval. Every eight hours means just that. But four times a day, means during waking hours. You don't have to awaken your child from sleep to give a dose.
- Third: Drug allergies tend to be over-diagnosed. If you think your child is having a reaction to medicine, talk to your healthcare provider before discontinuing it.
- Fourth: Continue antibiotics until the bottle is empty or for the entire number of days the medicine was prescribed. Stopping an antibiotic early can result in a flare-up of the infection.
- Fifth: Non-prescription medicines should be used only if your child is having symptoms that are truly bothersome. They can be stopped at any time.
- Sixth: Never refer to your child's medicine as "candy"; this can lead to confusion and possible poisoning at a later time.
Finally: Consider every medicine a potential poison. There is no such thing as a safe drug. When you use them, always replace the safety cap. And don't leave them on counter tops or in handbags. That's where curious children can too easily find them.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.