Safety Guidelines for Medicating Your Child
Due to the unique medical needs of children, special care is required when administering medications. It’s always a good idea to call the hospital or the family pediatrician before giving an over-the-counter medicine to a young child. If your child is prescribed a medication, the pediatric specialists at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center will ensure that you have all the information you need to administer the medicine properly.
When your child is prescribed a new medication, ask plenty of questions about it before leaving the hospital. Ask about the potential side effects and ask which side effects may need emergency care. Ask about the proper dosage , method of administration, and frequency of administration. The doctor should be fully informed of your child’s medical history, including other medications or medical conditions that may apply. Reminding the doctor of your child’s medical history can help prevent negative drug interactions.
Read the Label
Read the drug label and any prescription information that the pharmacist provides. The pharmacist can also answer follow-up questions. For example, a drug label may instruct you to administer the medicine every six hours. You might ask if this means you should give a maximum of three doses per day. Additionally, check whether the label indicates that the medicine should be given with food or whether there are any other special instructions.
Check the Packaging
If you’re giving your child an over-the-counter medicine, you should inspect the packaging carefully before administering it. Avoid using products that appear damaged or that have broken seals.
Store the Drug Safely
Even if your child requires multiple doses in a day, it’s crucial to safely store the medicine immediately after each dose. Secure the lid and store the product where your child can’t reach it. Ideally, all medicines should be kept under lock and key when the household includes a young child.
Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center is a leading provider of compassionate, high-quality pediatric care for families in the Thousand Oaks area. Our hospital is known for our specialized expertise in pediatric emergency care. If your child requires emergency care, please call 911 immediately; non-emergent questions may be directed to a registered nurse at our hospital at (877) 888-5746.