How Can Parents Avoid Mistakes When Giving their Children Medication?
Contrary to common belief, research shows that young people, especially children do NOT have immune systems as efficient as adults. In fact, children may take a longer time to recover even from a mild viral infection. This is true for a number of reasons. For one, children do not have fully developed immune systems until they are about 7-8 years old. Kids are constantly growing and they eat more food, drink more water, and breathe more air than adults do.
While administering medicine to a kid, it might be very difficult to manage a particular form of medicine. Say to avoid a shot in the arm or swallow a particularly repulsive large pill, a child might even fake other symptoms, throw a tantrum, or worse never report discomfort. This can be very stressful & exhausting for both parents and children.
When parents are under stress, they are more likely to make mistakes while administering or measuring the dose of the medicine, and sometimes doses are completely forgotten which can lead to serious side effects.
Here is a checklist for parents to prevent mistakes from happening while administering children medication:
1. Carefully Read the Package Insert:
A package insert is an instruction document, included in the package of a medication that provides information about that medicine and its use. Carefully study through the package insert and observe the recommendations.
2. Correct Dosage:
Before administering the first dose to your child, parents should pay close attention to the amount of medicine they are administering their child and check it 3-4 times to make sure it is suitable for their child’s age and weight. Putting children on a scale is safer than measuring their weight.
3. Usage of Medicine:
Parents should thoroughly follow the instruction prescribed by the doctor and the one mentioned in the package insert. Example: use enough water while the kid swallows the pill and examine whether it needs to be taken before, with, or after a meal.
4. Use of Dispensers:
Sometimes along with the medicine, in the packaging, you will get dispensers along it. Dispensers should be used along with the medicine. Droppers, dosing caps, or measuring cups are the most commonly included varieties of dispensers. Dispensers are only appropriate for the medicine that they came with, should not be used for any other medicines.
If the dosing instructions mentioned in the medicinal package specify a “spoonful,” take a close look at whether they suggest a teaspoon or a tablespoon. This may be especially useful when giving medication to small children and toddlers.
5. Sufficient Lighting:
Make sure there’s sufficient light when measuring the dose of medication, and always switch on the light while measuring the dose at night. Small children’s and infant’s bodies are very sensitive; the wrong dose can be harmful to their health.
Parents who are working and have a busy schedule should make a note of the medicine in a slip of paper and stick it in the bottle or package of the medicine on every occasion they administer a dose to the kid. This is especially important if the medication is administered several times a day and at specific times, or if the medication is given to the kid by different people at different times.
7. Over-the-counter Medication:
Parents should carefully read and interpret the instructions for medication that can be bought over the counter. Parents should seek advice from a physician or the pharmacist at the counter about the medication usage and dose. This is especially important if no dose recommendations are mentioned regarding the infant’s weight and age or if the infant is taking any other medicine at the same time.
8. Original Packaging:
Do not pour drop solution into some other bottle or dilute them. Doing this may alternate the size of the drop, which can affect the dose.
9. Take Advice for Dosing Errors:
In the event of an accidental overdose, contact your family doctor or pharmacist and seek advice on what should be done. Sometimes if one of the doses is skipped, children may vomit after taking the medication or spit out a part of it. Parents should ensure that they do not provide a double dose the next time just to “even things out.” Instead, follow and observe the standard schedule, but at the same time seek advice from the doctor.
There is a tendency by most of the parents to provide their young kids too much medicine. The reason for that is their low body weight. Marks on dispensers can be confusing, or the information found on package inserts might not be easy to understand. Children are especially likely to get too much medicine especially if it is in the form of a liquid, such as liquid antibiotics, painkillers, or cough syrup. This can have serious health consequences.
Many of the medicinal drugs that are commercially available in the market may not be suitable for your child’s body. Pediatric compounding medication can overcome these challenges by creating tailored medications with customized dosages & flavors that are easy for children to take.
At Vios, we strive to offer the best solutions. Unlike what you’ll receive through a standard prescription, our medications are carefully formulated and tailored to fit your child’s unique needs and tastes.