Safe and Proper Dosing Of Over the Counter Medications: 10 Tips

Cough and cold and flu season is upon us in full force. Mia’s already had bronchitis, and what was recently diagnosed as allergy-related chronic coughing. Ethan and Lila both have coughs and booger nose. Life at our house is all germy. I’ve mentioned before how important safe medicine storage is,  and now it’s time to address how critically important safe and proper dosing of over the counter (OTC) medications to children is.

Bear with me here. It may feel like common sense to just read the back of the medicine bottle and give your kid the suggested dose. But how many times have you woken up at 2am when your child wakes up crying/throwing up/grabbing an ear, throat, or head? It’s dark, you’re half asleep and freaking out that your kid is in pain. You grab the medicine, and you’re pretty sure you’ve just given the correct dose. And you start second guessing yourself.

Safe and proper dosing of over the counter medications can save your child’s life. In October, the journal Pediatrics revealed the results of a study indicating that every eight minutes, a child under the age of 6 experiences a medication error outside of the doctor’s office or hospital.

Prevent an accidental overdose of medicine this cold and flu season at home by following safe and proper dosing of over the counter medications. #OTCSafety
How do these accidents happen? Most of the errors come from giving kids liquid medicine, giving them the wrong dosage amount, or giving them medicines twice (because you are tired and not paying attention?) While these are unintended errors, education and awareness needs to be shared.

Safe and Proper Dosing Of Over the Counter Medications: 10 Tips

from the OTCsafety.org site

Prevent an accidental overdose of medicine this cold and flu season at home by following safe and proper dosing of over the counter medications. #OTCSafety

  • Always read and follow the label don’t guess. If you aren’t sure, call your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Always give the recommended dose and use the correct measuring device. Never use longer than the label instructs or at higher doses, unless your doctor specifically tells you to do so.
  • Only use the medicine that treats your child’s specific symptoms.
  • Never give two medicines with any of the same active ingredients. Read the labels, moms!
  • Never use cough, cold, or allergy medicines to sedate your child. I know, I know…we all joke about giving the kids Benadryl to make them sleep, but it’s not okay and should NEVER be done!
  • Never give aspirin-containing products to children and adolescents for cold or flu symptoms unless told to do so by a doctor. And never use oral cough and cold medicines in children under four.
  • Do not give a medicine only intended for adults to a child. Not even if you half the dose (as I’m sure many of us can would never admit to doing.)
  • Stop use and contact your doctor immediately if your child develops any side effects or reactions that concern you.
  • Keep all medicines — yes, vitamins too — up and away and out of your child’s reach and sight. I have some tips here.
  • Teach your child about using medicines safely. Tell your children what medicine is and why you must be the one to give it to them. Never tell children medicine is candy to get them to take it, even if your child does not like to take his or her medicine.  You’d be shocked by how many different OTCs can be mistaken for candy.

Prevent an accidental overdose of medicine this cold and flu season at home by following safe and proper dosing of over the counter medications. #OTCSafety

For more information about over-the-counter medicine safety, you can check out my posts I’ve written as an OTCsafety Ambassador and followCHPA on Pinterest for even more.

How do you make sure that you are using safe and proper dosing of over the counter medications in your home?

Disclaimer: I’m being compensated as an OTCSafety Blogger, though all thoughts, opinions, and suggestions expressed here are my own. Keep up-to-date on OTCSafety information by visiting the OTCSafety website  and by following them on Pinterest.

Sneeze photo credit: foshydog via photopin cc

 

Comments

  1. These are excellent tips. It will do us well to remember these advice for a proper and safe dosage of the medication. A lot of patients tend to brush of the instructions which can be a really serious problem.
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