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Q: How can I make sure I am giving my child medicine safely?

Posted July 17, 2013 in Advice Column, Ankeny

A: Medicines are safe for children as long as you read all medicine labels and directions carefully. Make sure you select age-appropriate products and always follow these guidelines.

Always check the minimum age recommended for every medicine and, unless your physician has recommended the medicine, never give to any child under the recommended age.

Look at the dose and strength of each medicine every time you use it. Many medications’ active ingredients come in different strengths and formulations.

Pay close attention to the maximum amount of medicine allowed daily and to the minimum amount of time needed between doses. Giving a medicine too frequently, even if it is the right dose, can lead to an overdose and side effects.

If you are giving one or more medicines to your child, be sure to check the active ingredients listed on the drug facts label on each medicine to make sure you are not giving the same medicine twice (and, thus, overdosing).

Only use a medicine that treats the symptoms your child is experiencing.

Never use cough, cold or allergy medicines to sedate your child.

Stop use and contact your doctor immediately if your child develops any side effects or reactions that concern you.

Don’t guess when giving your child medicine. Call your pharmacist, physician or healthcare provider with any and all of your questions and concerns.

Information provided by Jennifer Meurer, Pharm.D., Medicap Pharmacy, 107 N.E. Delaware, Suite 6, 964-8550.

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