Autoimmune Disease Management 101: Fighting Back

Children And Medications: Tips For Preventing Accidental Overdose

When your child gets sick, you can give some medications to help ease the symptoms. Over-the-counter fever and pain medications can help with teething and early childhood illnesses. Some prescription medications can also help children overcome infections. However, accidental overdose is a common problem with children, and parents can take steps to help prevent dosing problems in kids. Here are some tips to make sure your child does not accidentally take more medicine than they need. 

1. Use only the measurement tool that comes with the medicine

Even prescription medications come with a syringe or cup to help you measure liquid medications for kids. Do not use a household tablespoon or eating spoon to estimate doses. Do not use syringes that are intended for other medicines. Sometimes, parents can misread these to give more than they think, especially if the syringes are not marked by mL but instead marked for that specific dose of medication. 

2. Keep vitamins, even kid's vitamins, out of reach

Children may eat vitamins thinking they are candy. Multi-vitamins often have iron in them, and eating too many can cause iron poisoning, especially in younger children. Since children's vitamins may be gummy shapes or sweet chews, you need to keep them locked away when you aren't giving your children any to eat. 

3. Do not double up doses

Sometimes, like on a course of antibiotics, you might miss a dose. Do not double up doses if you miss giving one to your child. Instead, wait to give the next dose and continue as usual, or ask your doctor what to do when skipping doses.

4. Do not crush or cut pills unless you know it is safe

Some medicines have protective capsules to make sure they are released at the right time during digestion. It can be hard to get a child to swallow a pill, so parents might cut it up or crush it to help make it easier for a child to swallow. You should not do this unless the pharmacist directly tells you it is safe to do so. To make swallowing easier, you might give a pill with a scoop of ice-cream or jam.

5. Follow dosing instructions

Medications are different in concentration based on age. Infant painkillers, for example, might be more highly concentrated than a toddler medication. Check the dosing on the bottle, following the directions for age and for weight to make sure your child has age-appropriate doses. 

For more information, contact a company like Kids Choice Pediatrics.