To use over-the-counter (OTC) medications safely, read all instructions and follow them precisely before medicating your child.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications can help relieve your child’s aches and pains, but you should know a few things before popping open a bottle.
Many of the medications we purchase do not require a prescription. We utilise them to avoid unnecessary visits to healthcare providers, ease common childhood symptoms, and make our children more comfortable. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) emphasises that this does not imply that OTCs are risk-free.
OTCs, like prescription medications, can be extremely hazardous to a child if not taken carefully. Before administering any medication to your child, parents must read and comprehend all instructions.
Always read the label
Medicines, in general, are safe when used as indicated. But take note of the wording “use as directed” and adhere to the label’s directions. When in question about how to treat your kid, consult with your healthcare professional.
Do not offer any OTC medications to children under two years old unless you have first discussed them with your healthcare physician. Because of the danger of life-threatening adverse effects, the FDA and the AAP warn against giving over-the-counter cough and cold drugs to newborns and small children.
According to studies, cough and cold medications may not improve the symptoms of children under the age of six and may even cause breathing difficulties.
OTC medicine safety tips
Follow these safety tips regarding over-the-counter medications:
- Don’t make assumptions about your child’s dosage based on their size. Examine the label and follow all instructions.
- Understand the distinction between TBSP (tablespoon, about 15 mL) and TSP (teaspoon, about 5 ml). When converting dosing recommendations, use caution. If the label specifies two teaspoons, use a teaspoon-marked measuring spoon or dosage cup.
- Do not double the dose.
- Consult your healthcare practitioner or pharmacist before giving your child two medications simultaneously.
- Children should never be given aspirin unless directed to do so by their healthcare physician. It can cause Reye syndrome, a potentially fatal liver illness.
- Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be dangerous if used incorrectly. Always consult with your healthcare professional to determine the appropriate dose.
- Don’t rely on the age ranges on the bottle because they are weight-related, and not all children weigh the same at any given age.
- Follow any age and weight restrictions listed on the label.
- Never allow your child to take medications on their own, and don’t store medications in their bedroom.
- Never describe medicine as sweets to get children to take it. If they come to discover the medicine on their own, they will most likely mistake it for sweets.
- Use child-resistant caps at all times. Keep medicines out of the reach of children.
- Check pharmaceutical packaging for evidence of tampering at all times.