Mom's medicine manual
"Even minor mistakes in dispenses drugs to kids can be dangerous. Learn how to do it right."
by: Awi Curameng M.D

Adults on medication can accidentally overdoses, experience side effects, or get confused with their doctor's instructions. If medications are tricky for adults, what more for children? What is the best way to give children their needs? Ask your child's pediatrician for detailed instructions, and be obsessive about checking that your giving the right drug at the right does at the right time.

Here are some tips from the United States Food and Drug Administration and the American Academy of Pediatrics on how to administer medication to your child:

1. If your child is sick, take him to his pediatrician. Don't try to diagnos his illness yourself an more important, don't try to figure out what treatment to give.!

2. Never give your child medication prescribed for another child, even if they seem to be sharing the same symptoms.

3. Never give medication prescribed for an adult! Children are not small adults; some drugs safe for adults maybe harmful to kids.

4. Never give aspirin for fever. This may lead to Reye's syndrome, which can result in coma and death. Give paracetamol instead.

5. When your doctor prescribes medication be absolutely clear on:
  • Its name and purpose
  • Its dosage and schedule - how much, how often, and how long to take it
  • Its administration / application (by mouth, in the rectum, or on the skin, etc)
  • If to be take with food
  • How to store it
  • What do if your child displays side effects
  • Possible interactions with other drugs being taken whether it may trigger an allergic reaction
  • What to do if a dose is missed
  • If there exists a less expensive generic version
6. When buying medicines from a drugstore, always check for signs of tampering: cuts, tears or other package defects. Check the expiration date as well.

7. Follow storage instructions: Some drugs will need refrigeration, while others need to be stored in a cool dry place. It's best not to store medicines in the bathroom cabinet, as the humidity can cause spoilage. Choose a location that is out of reach.

The Actual Administration

8. Each time you give a dose, always check the drug label to make sure it's the correct medication. Call your pedia for any questions or concerns about the package label. Don't give medication unless you understand what's on the label.

9. Measure out your pedia's prescribed dose exactly. The numbers on mesuring devices are small, so dispense liquids at eye level. Don't be temped to give more to hasten your child's recovery.
  • For babies, you can pour medicines into a calibrated syringe with the needle remove, then squirt into the mouth.
  • For babies and young children who can't drink from a cup, you can use a calibrated plastic dropper.
  • If a child can drink from a cup without spilling, use the measuring cup that comes with the medication.
10. Never use teaspoons or tablespoons to measure out a dose; use the measure device that comes with the medication.

11. What if the medication tastes "yucky"?
  • Crush the tablets or capsule and mix into a small amount of liquid or soft food, but make sure that your child eats it all.
  • Squirt the drug with a syringe or dropper at the back of the mouth or the inside of the cheek, where taste buds are fewer.
  • Buy flavored version. Confer with your pedia or pharmacist that the technique will not reduce the efficacy of the drug.
12. After giving a medication, observe your child for any side effects, including rashes, vomiting and diarrhea. In such cases, call your doctor for instructions. However, if your child starts wheezing, has difficulty breathing or talking, or is in severe pain, take him at once to the nearest hospital emergency department. He may be experiencing a severe reaction to the drug that needs immediate medical treatment.

CAUTION: Never say that a medication is candy! Your child can accidentally overdoes on a drug that he finds particular tasty. Call it as it is and explain what it is for.

Awi Curameng M.D, Mom's medicine manual. MOM'S TODAY, 2007

Labels: |
0 Responses
Custom Search