What to Remember When Giving Your Child Medication

No parent wants to see their child struggle with an illness. Although medications can sometimes help your child feel well again, they are not without certain risks. These include the risks of drug interactions , overdoses, and side effects. You can protect your child with help from the pediatric specialists at Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas.

OTC Medicines
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications are available in formulations designed specifically for children. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your child’s pediatrician before administering any OTC drugs. Some drugs should never be given to children, such as aspirin, and others should only be given to children of a certain age or weight. Your pediatrician can let you know which medicines are safe to give your child and in what dosages.

Dosages
Giving your child too much of a medicine can be harmful and it won’t help him or her feel better more quickly. Check and double-check the dosage instructions before administering a medicine. For liquid medicines, use the provided medicine cup or other tool. For example, if you’re giving your child one tablespoon of medicine, use the medicine cup or a measuring spoon, rather than an ordinary kitchen spoon. Write down the time when you administered the dosage and avoid giving the next dosage too early.

Drug Interactions
It’s possible for certain medications to interact with each other. These include prescription and OTC drugs, as well as supplements. Before giving your child a new prescription or OTC medicine, ask the doctor or pharmacist if there is a risk of a drug interaction with your child’s current medicines.

Safety Issues
Before purchasing a medication, check the exterior packaging for any signs of damage. Do not purchase drugs with damaged packaging. At home, double-check the label to make sure it’s the correct medicine for your child. The drug’s lid or seal should not be broken. When in doubt, ask a pharmacist for guidance or call your pediatrician.

Sunrise Children’s Hospital is your family’s partner in wellness. Our children’s hospital is proud to serve families throughout the Las Vegas area with exceptional pediatric services, including emergency care. If you have a general healthcare question, you can call a registered nurse at our hospital at (702) 233-5437.

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