More than 7,000 children go to the emergency department annually for problems related to drug reactions and errors in administering them. The most common mistakes occur with pain and fever medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. To avoid these errors, certain security measures must be adopted.
Safety tips for general drug use
- Cold medicine usually has several medicines mixed in one container. For example, do not give another fever reducer if you are already taking cold medicine. Remember, taking a single medication is generally best to avoid confusion.
- Sometimes a two-year-old can tell you that he has a headache or stomach ache to get attention or to learn more about medications.
Safety measures regarding dosage
- Give the correct dose. Measure the dose accurately.
- Use a syringe to dispense medicine or a dropper to measure the exact amount as they are more accurate than a measuring spoon.
- Give the medicine at the prescribed times. If you miss a dose, give it as soon as possible and give the next dose at the correct time interval after the last dose.
- Take special care with over-the-counter medications. Some medicines with potency for adults should never be given to children. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist first.
- Medications to reduce fever can be administered to treat fevers above 102 ° F (38.8 ° C). Remember that fever can be how the body fights infection. Try not to get used to taking fever-reducing medications without thinking twice.
Medications and food
- It is generally best not to mix medications with food or drinks because they can interfere with the effectiveness of the medication or dilute the dose.
- If you mix the medicine with food or liquids, you must take it COMPLETELY.
- You can offer your child something to drink after giving the medicine to help him taste it if he deems it necessary.
Helping children take medications
- Some medications don’t taste very good. To numb its taste, your child may suck on a popsicle before taking medicine. You can also offer your child his favorite drink to help him pass it on.
- If the medication is not essential (for example, over-the-counter medications), discontinue use. If you are not sure, check with your healthcare provider.