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giving-medication-to-kidsKnow How to Give Your Child Medication Safely

There are few things that a parent considers more important than giving medication to their kids properly. Unfortunately, there are times when a very caring parent can make a mistake with either over-the-counter (OTC) medication, or meds that the doctor has prescribed. The dangers of overdose are well known, but there could be further complications if you underdose also. Following are some guidelines for giving your child the proper level and type of medication.

Know What You Giving Your Child

If you are concerned with the instructions, don't hesitate to call your doctor's assistant with questions. What is the drug and what is it for? Will this drug cause a problem with other drugs my child is taking? What if I miss giving my child a dose? How soon will the drug start working? What should I do if my child gets any of the listed side effects? Should I stop giving the medicine when my child gets better? Is there a less expensive generic version that I can use? All of these are concerns of the conscientious parent. NEVER be afraid to ask the doctor questions. The consequences of not asking could be a lot more dire than a little discomfort on your part while asking.

Use Proper Applications

Now that you have the treatment in hand, you want to administer the child's medication safely. Make sure that you have the proper applicators. Never use a spoon to give medication to your child. The sizes of teaspoons and tablespoons actually vary widely. Use some type of graduated applicator that will deliver an accurate dose. This is not the time to use the "pinch" method one uses while cooking. BE ACCURATE. Medicines work best when given correctly: the right dose, at the right time, given in the right way.

Read Any Warnings on the Box or Bottle

Especially if you are giving your child OTC medication, it is imperative that you know the medication will not react with your child in a negative way. Know any conditions that may prevent you from safely administering a medication to your child. Conditions like asthma may preclude the use of certain types of meds.

Approach the Situation Calmly But Firmly

When you are giving the medication, approach the situation calmly but firmly. If you aren't afraid, your child won't be either. Try to be honest and sympathetic, and be sure your child understands the need to take the medicine. Praise your child for taking medicine. During the period the child has to take the medication, it should become a routine. Administer the medication at the same time (or times) everyday.

Treat the Medication Seriously

Never call a pill candy. That puts the wrong idea into a child's head, and can lead to them going into the medicine cabinet for more "candy." Store the medication in the original container, out of the reach of any children. Do not use the medication over again for the same child or siblings. Flush the remainder when the prescribed time is finished. If you follow these simple tips you can take the worry out of giving a child medication.

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