Caring for young children means taking extra precautions in everything from administering medications properly to childproofing every room of the home. Despite taking these precautions, accidents can still occur. That’s why the children’s emergency care team at Sunrise Children’s Hospital of Las Vegas is available 24/7 to respond to unexpected medication overdoses .
Prevent Access to Medications
When pediatrics specialists treat children who suffer from medication poisoning, it’s often as a result of unintentional access to the drugs. Make sure everyone in the household knows to keep all medications, eye drops, medicated creams, and similar products out of reach of children. If you expect houseguests or have the grandparents over to babysit, don’t hesitate to ask whether they have any medications that your children might come across.
Discuss Medication Safety
Educating children about medication safety can begin at a young age. Firstly, pediatrics specialists strongly urge parents to never refer to medications as candy. Even though it can be helpful to convince an obstinate child to take a prescribed medication, it may later lead to dangerous medication poisoning. Instead, emphasize to your children that although medications can be helpful when someone isn’t feeling well, they should only be given by a parent or authorized caregiver.
Administer Medications Carefully
Children respond to medications differently than adults. In the video featured here, a children’s hospital doctor explains how he adjusts anti-nausea medications for children based on their weight. Even when an over-the-counter drug is formulated for children; however, it’s always best to consult a pediatrician before administering it. Follow the pediatrician’s instructions carefully to prevent an accidental overdose.
Dispose of Drugs Properly
Avoid leaving unused or expired medications in the medicine cabinet where children could access them. Instead, you can ask your pharmacist about medication take-back programs. Or, place the medication in a plastic bag along with unappealing things like coffee grounds or kitty litter. Seal the bag and dispose of it in the trash.
In the event of an accidental overdose, Sunrise Children’s Hospital is always available to help your child feel well again. In addition to providing children’s emergency care for families in the Las Vegas area, our children’s hospital offers a full suite of pediatrics. Call (702) 233-5437 to speak with one of our registered nurses.