Ensure Your Kids Get the Right Medicine -- Nothing More, Nothing Less

October 09, 2017

When your child is sick, prescription and over-the-counter medications can help relieve symptoms and help your child recover faster.

Those medications will be most effective if you read and follow the directions exactly. The labels will clearly explain how often you should administer the medication. The amount will vary by the strength of the medication and the child’s age. Some medications, such as those used to treat ADHD, are prescribed for extended periods of time. Others are prescribed for just a few days or weeks. 

Many medications are measured in milliliters. This unit is more exact than teaspoon (tsp) and tablespoon (TBSP) and less likely to be confused. Use an oral syringe or the included dosing cup to ensure that you are giving your child the appropriate amount.

If the medication is measured by teaspoons, do not use any spoons from your kitchen drawer. Everyday spoons are not sized consistently, and even measuring spoons are sometimes inconsistent. To ensure your child is receiving the correct dose, use an oral syringe.

You must also take care to keep medications away from children.

Make sure the child-resistant cap is on tight. Even child-resistant caps aren’t foolproof, though, so store your family’s medications in an area that children can’t reach. This includes children’s medication. Even though it is designed to be safe for kids, extra doses of some medication can make your child very sick. And your children might be tempted by the medicines that taste more like a sweet treat than the nose-pinching potions our parents (or grandparents) gave us. 

Medications, unless they need to be refrigerated, should be stored at room temperature, away from heat, humidity and light. So a medicine cabinet OUTSIDE the bathroom might be the best location for your drugs.

You also don’t want to keep medications in your vehicle, either, even if it’s a prescription you need to have nearby at all times. You’ve seen the presentations that show that vehicle temperatures can reach higher than 150 degrees F. This causes a breakdown of the medication, and it might not be effective. For drugs that help control cardiovascular disease, thyroid, or asthma, this is especially important.

Parents must remember to make sure children complete their doses of antibiotics. Even if symptoms disappear before the prescription is complete, the bacteria could still be present and symptoms could recur.

If you have any questions about medication storage or dosage, please reach out to your family physician or pharmacist. We are happy to answer your questions to help keep your family safe and healthy.

Categories: Your Health

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