Sometimes the act of giving medication to a child can become so commonplace that parents or caregivers unintentionally get careless. But a mistake could be detrimental to the child’s health, so it’s important to take into consideration some important safety tips.
Ask the Doctor Questions When the Medication is Prescribed
Before even giving a child medication, it’s important to ask questions when the doctor has prescribed a new medicine, a new dosage, or to simply refresh your memory.
The following are some common questions parents may ask:
- What is the name of the medication and what specifically is it treating?
- Are there any known side effects or warning signs that I should look for?
- When should I give the medicine to my child, and how many times each day?
- How long should my child expect to take this medicine?
- What is the correct way to store it?
- Should my child take the medicine with food?
Dispensing a Child’s Medication
It’s important to thoroughly read all instructions and labels on the medicine. To ensure you administer the correct dosage of a liquid medication, some parents opt to use a syringe.
When the child has to take the medicine more than once each day, keep notes of the dosage and what time you administered it. Also keep a list of all medicines the child is taking, both over-the-counter and prescription.
Don’t rely solely on the medicine bottle being child-resistant. Make sure medicine is stored out of reach of the child. Keep it high off the ground in a locked cabinet or container. Also ensure you store it at proper temperature, some medications require storing at room temperature while others require refrigeration. If you’re unsure, ask the doctor or pharmacist.
If a medication error causes injury or serious side effects, however, parents should immediately seek medical help. If the error was the doctor’s or pharmacist’s, parents may pursue legal action. In such cases, Gacovino, Lake & Associates can help.