Eight medications you shouldn’t give your child

September 27, 2010

Eight medications you shouldn’t give your child
Approved by the BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board

By the BabyCenter editorial staff

• Aspirin
• Anti-nausea medications
• Adult medications
• Leftover medication
• Anything expired
• Extra acetaminophen
• Ibuprofen if your child is vomiting
• Chewables
• Related Links

You can’t be too careful about what you put in your child’s body. It’s important to know what to avoid:

Never give your toddler medications containing aspirin. Aspirin can make children susceptible to Reye’s syndrome — a rare but potentially fatal illness. Don’t assume that the children’s medicines you find in the store will be aspirin-free. Read the label carefully to make sure. Aspirin is sometimes referred to as “salicylate” or “acetylsalicylic acid.” Ask your pediatrician or pharmacist if you’re not sure whether a product is safe.

Anti-nausea medications
Don’t give your child any anti-nausea medications (prescription or over-the-counter) unless your pediatrician recommends them. Children will often vomit only a couple of times before whatever is bothering them works its way out of their system — throwing up can be the body’s way of ridding itself of things it doesn’t need. If your toddler begins to get dehydrated, though, contact his pediatrician for advice on what to do next.

Adult medications
Giving your child a smaller dose of medicine you bought for yourself is dangerous. If the label doesn’t indicate an appropriate dose for a child, don’t give your child that medication.

Leftover medication
Leftover antibiotics the pediatrician prescribed for an ear infection won’t be effective on your child’s next cold. Prescription medicines intended for other people or to treat other illnesses may be ineffective or even dangerous when given to your toddler. Give him only medicine meant just for him and his specific malady.

Anything expired
Toss out medicines, prescription and over the counter (OTC) alike, as soon as they expire. After the use-by date, they won’t be effective and may even be harmful. Don’t flush old drugs down the toilet, since they can contaminate groundwater and end up in the drinking water supply. Instead make sure they’re sealed in a childproof container and toss them out with the trash.

Extra acetaminophen
Many OTC cold and cough medicines contain acetaminophen to help ease fever and pain, so be careful not to give your child extra painkillers on top of that. If you’re not sure what’s in a particular medicine, don’t be afraid to ask your pharmacist or pediatrician.

Ibuprofen if your child is vomiting
If your toddler is dehydrated or vomiting continuously, don’t give him ibuprofen, which can irritate the stomach. Certain chemicals, including drugs, can also trigger the brain’s “vomit” button, so it’s best to avoid most medicines when your child is vomiting.

Don’t give chewable medications to a child under 3 years old because the tablets are a choking hazard.

Source: sehat@yahoogroups.com

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