Managing medicines for children

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Although you probably have no qualms about managing your own medications and painkillers – there are things you ought to keep in mind when giving medicine to children. You need to take extra care, not only in how you store their medications, but also in making sure you give the correct dose – especially if it’s a new medication for them. Here’s what you need to know.

We’ve teamed up with Children’s Panadol to provide you with lots of quick and helpful information covering many aspects of children’s health and development. We hope you’ll find them a great resource as you take care of your family every day.

What to keep in mind when administering medicine to children

  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist about any possible side effects – for instance, drowsiness or irritability.
  • Check whether there are any precautions you should take.
  • If your child is already taking a medication (even a non-prescription one), check if it’s okay to take both.
  • Make sure you understand how much and how often to give the medicine, and follow the directions on the packet carefully.
  • When you buy over-the-counter medicines at the pharmacy (like cough medicine), always say it’s for a child, and tell the pharmacist the child’s age and weight.
  • If your child has any unwanted reaction when taking the medicine (for example, diarrhoea or a rash), stop giving it to them and tell your doctor.
  • Buy medicines with childproof caps if possible. To ensure the locking mechanism is fully engaged, turn the cap firmly in a clockwise direction until you can’t move it anymore. Take care not to over-tighten it. The cap is secured correctly when it can be turned anti-clockwise and a clicking sound is heard.
  • If your child’s condition is getting worse, despite the medicine, see your doctor immediately.

Tips for giving kids medicine

  • Don’t give aspirin to children – it may cause serious complications. Use paracetamol (such as Children’s Panadol) for temporary relief from pain and fever in children one month and over. Seek medical advice for children under three months.
  • Write down in your child’s Health Record Book the names of all medications your child uses, especially if you see more than one doctor.
  • Always take your child’s Health Record Book with you when you see a doctor.
  • Make a note in your child’s Health Record Book if they react badly to a medicine.
  • Never give your child medicine that has been prescribed for someone else or prescribed for your child for a previous illness.
  • Always follow the storage instructions on the pack.
  • Always check the ‘use by’ date of medicines kept at home. Throw out those that are out of date or return them to the pharmacy for safe disposal.
  • Keep all medicines locked away – out of sight and out of reach!

This is an excerpt from The First Five Years, which is a handy and easy to navigate book, specifically developed to help parents. It contains a comprehensive collection of practical parenting information and useful tips for your child’s first five years. If you’ve ever wanted a quick guide to refer to in the middle of the night, or to help you decide when it’s time to see a doctor, this is a resource which will help you on your way. You can view it online or download it for free at The First Five Years.

(This is a sponsored post for Children’s Panadol)

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