By printing and/or reading this article, you agree that you accept all terms and conditions of use, as specified online.
When giving prescription medication to a child, it's important for parents and caregivers to fully understand what the medicine does and how it should be used. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some the questions you might want to ask the pediatrician include:
If medication has been prescribed in pill form, some parents crush the pill to mix it in with food. However always ask the doctor before altering any medication like that; some medicine really needs to be swallowed whole to work properly.
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) also suggests that when the dosage time is "every six hours," that doesn't mean you have to wake your child up in the middle of the night. It usually means 4 times a day, for example, with meals and at bedtime. Every 8 hours means 3 times a day.
If the medication is in liquid form, make sure you follow the dosage instructions exactly. Don't confuse the abbreviations for teaspoon (tsp.) and tablespoon (tbs.). In fact, since kitchen teaspoons and tablespoons can vary in size, you might find that a dosage cup can be more accurate. If you do use a dosage cup or dropper, measure at eye level for greatest accuracy.
AAFP also has these other suggestions:
Once your child starts taking the medicine, contact your doctor if any unusual symptoms develop. (Read about "Poison Prevention") Make sure you keep a record of this for future reference. And even once your child starts feeling better, don't stop the medication without the doctor's OK.
Unless you discuss it with your physician first, it is not a good idea to mix over-the-counter drugs with prescription medications. Many OTC drugs contain some of the same components, such as acetaminophen. Adding OTC drugs may result in an overdose.
All Concept Communications material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.
© Concept Communications Media Group LLC