With it being cough and cold season, I thought it would be a great time to make you aware of the common medicine mistakes parents make when their kids are sick.
It is not intentional, it is just that you may not know the affects that some of these “harmless” mistakes may have on children, especially young ones.
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How to Avoid Common Medicine Mistakes Parents Make
Not Reading Labels
You may think that you were given the correct medicine from the pharmacy, but always read the labels to make sure. People that work in pharmacies are human and make mistakes, so make sure that it is the correct medicine that was prescribed before you give it to your child.
Also, read the description of the medicine on the label and make sure that what is inside the bottle matches that description.
A very common mistake is giving your child too much medicine too soon. This can be hard if there is more than one caregiver. Have a dry erase board for your fridge or for your child’s room and write down the time whenever you give your child medicine. That way you don’t forget when you last gave them some and the next person won’t give them medicine too soon.
Not Following Through with Antibiotics
The doctor prescribes antibiotics for a reason. Just because your child is feeling better, don’t stop giving them the medicine. This can cause the illness to come back if you stop the antibiotic regimen.
Don’t store the antibiotics for later because they can lose potency after a while and won’t be as effective.
Not Using Correct Measurements
Do not use a regular tablespoon to give your child medicine. The actual measurement of each spoon can vary so always you a proper measuring cup or syringe. Make sure you fill it up to the correct line and look at it from eye-level, don’t look down on it. You won’t get the proper measurement.
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More Common Medicine Mistakes Parents Make
Giving Medicine by Age
If you are looking for the proper dosage on the label, go by the weight, not the age of your child. Children that weigh more will need a bigger dosage compared to a smaller child regardless of their age.
Mixing Medicine with Food
If you mix medicine in with food to make it taste better, the medicine may not be absorbed as well. Unless it says “take with food”.
Always give medicine with water. If it says “don’t take with food”, this means juice as well. It really can affect how well the medicine works.
Ask your doctor about the best way to mask the taste of the medicine. Some may advise that you can add a little bit of chocolate syrup that won’t affect the medicine.
Using Benedryl to Cause Drowsiness
This is a very common medicine mistakes parents make. We have all heard about doing this before airplane rides, but be very careful. It sometimes has the opposite effect on children and makes them hyper. Consult with your doctor before giving medicine for other ways than what it is intended for.
Giving Another Dose after a Spill
I know that giving a baby or toddler medicine usually means getting it all over the place. If you know that you were able to get some, but not all, of the medicine in, don’t give another full dose. Call the doctor and see what they recommend to do. You don’t want to give them too much.
Being in a Rush
I know that life gets crazy and when a kid is sick that means parents are sleep deprived. But always double check that you are grabbing the correct medicine and giving the correct dosage.
I know that one time I grabbed the adult medicine instead of the infant one, but luckily, I caught myself before I measured it out to give to my baby. It happens to all of us, but always double check.
I hope that you don’t have a lot of cough and colds or any other illnesses this year but if you do you are now more aware of the common medicine mistakes parents make.
If you have any other tips or stories, please share them below. Always remember to consult with your doctor if you have any questions, no matter what time it is. That is what they are there for.
I mark the medicine bottle itself m-f then check mark every dose given.
Great tips! Sometimes it’s hard to not mix with food, but such a great point the medicine won’t absorb the same!
Sabra Casey says
Great tips! Even some good ones for adults as well 🙂