When your child needs medication, it is very important to provide it safely and effectively. Many parents have questions about how to best do this.
Many parents store medicines in the bathroom. This is not an ideal place to store medicines because light and humidity can impact how the medicine works.
Keep all medicines in a cabinet or other place that children cannot access.
Child-resistant packages aren't necessarily childproof; the only safe bottles are the ones your child can't get to.
Throw out medicines if their expiration date has passed or they are not being used anymore by your child.
If you put old medicines in the trash, make sure they are sealed so that children cannot open them.
When giving your child over-the-counter medicine, read the label carefully, paying special attention to the dose. If the label doesn't list a dose for your child's age, talk to your physician or pharmacist before giving the medicine to your child.
A recent study featured in this month's Archives found that parents are more likely to make an error with medication dosing if the medicine is measured with a medicine cup. Using a medication syringe to give your child medicine is a more accurate and safe way to be sure your child gets the right dose of medicine.
Always have the light on when dosing medications and check the dose each time.
If your child is taking a medicine multiple times a day, make a chart or put a sticker on the medication bottle to keep track of the times at which the child has had medication. This is especially important if other caregivers may also give your child the medication.
If you think you gave too much medication, call the Poison Center. Keep a sticker with the Poison Center number on your phone or in an easy-to-locate place in the house. The number is 1-800-222-1222.
If your child is having trouble breathing or looks seriously ill, call 911.
Teach your child about medication safety. If your child is old enough, tell him or her about his or her medicine. Read the instructions aloud to him or her, tell him or her why he or she needs it, and discuss how to take the medication safely.
Keep a list of every medicine your child takes, including over-the-counter medicines or herbal remedies. Share this list with all of your child's health care providers.
American Association of Poison Control Centers http://www.aapcc.org/dnn/PoisoningPrevention/ChildTips/tabid/120/Default.aspx
To find this and other Advice for Patients articles, go to the Advice for Patients link on the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine Web site at http://www.archpediatrics.com.
Source: CVS Children's Medicine Safety: http://www.cvshealthresources.com/topic/childmedsafety
Box Section Ref ID
The Advice for Patients feature is a public service of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. The information and recommendations appearing on this page are appropriate in most instances, but they are not a substitute for medical diagnosis. For specific information concerning your child's medical condition, Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine suggests that you consult your child's physician. This page may be photocopied noncommercially by physicians and other health care professionals to share with patients. To purchase bulk reprints, call 312/464-0776.
Thank you for submitting a comment on this article. It will be reviewed by JAMA Pediatrics editors. You will be notified when your comment has been published. Comments should not exceed 500 words of text and 10 references.
Do not submit personal medical questions or information that could identify a specific patient, questions about a particular case, or general inquiries to an author. Only content that has not been published, posted, or submitted elsewhere should be submitted. By submitting this Comment, you and any coauthors transfer copyright to the journal if your Comment is posted.
* = Required Field
Disclosure of Any Conflicts of Interest*
Indicate all relevant conflicts of interest of each author below, including all relevant financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including, but not limited to, employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speakers’ bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued. If all authors have none, check "No potential conflicts or relevant financial interests" in the box below. Please also indicate any funding received in support of this work. The information will be posted with your response.
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
More Listings atJAMACareerCenter.com >
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address we have on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.