Being a mother of an eight months old infant, I always feel over possessive for his health. A couple of days ago when he had extreme nasal congestion, I treated him with saline drops and accidentally put few extra drops. After taking a closer look to the bottle, my stomach did a somersault when I read, “overdosage may cause significant side-effects”. I called my pediatrician to cross-check the dosage recommended. Thankfully, he was alright but every year, around 70,000 children are treated in emergency rooms fo accidental medication and overdosage.
Young children have immature metabolism that makes them more vulnerable to medication mistakes. Many times, parents unintentionally overmedicate their children which leads to mishaps and emergencies. So today, we will be discussing ways to avoid drug related do’s and dont’s.
1. Medicating Colds and Cough: Cold and cough are common in winters and many over the counter medicines contain the same ingredients. The symptoms may differ and lots of cold formulas have acetaminophen, pain relievers and feverreducing drugs. Your baby might get double dose if you treat her congestion with multi symptom product. For children who are above 6 years of age and have cold, consider talking to a child’s specialist before buying the OTC medicines. Don’t give two medications at once unless directed by your child’s doctor.
2. Not measuring correctly : Another mistake that is done by some parents as some household kitchen spoons measure two to three times more liquid than others. This leads to overdose of medicines and may have some side-effects. A study have found that 70% of parents pour more than the recommended dosage due to wrong markings. While measuring medicines, always use a syringe or dosing cup that lists the measurement in mililitres.
3. Ignoring Doctor’s advice: We often tempt to stop giving medications when our child feel better. But bacteria can linger and become resistant to mediction if the full dosage isn’t given. It it returns, your child will have to start over with new medication with a full course of a different antibiotic and that may have more severe side-effects. So, its better to always follow the dosage and frequency as suggested by the pediatrician.
4. Giving dosage as per age instead of weight: Children digest medicines differently depending upon their weight and not their age. The dosage of medicines is important if the child is overweight or underweight for her age. Obese kids matabolize medicines faster when compared to other kids which means they need more than what the actual dosage suggests. If you are giving an OTC to your kid, always consult your pediatrician first. Consider your child’s weight while asking doctor to write prescirptions.
5. Medication for “Off-Label” Purpose: Some parents give medicines such as Benadryl or Sinarest to their children to help them sleep on an airplane. It may cause some kids to get uncomfortable and they may get more hyperactive after taking the dose. Its better to carry lots of toys, snacks and above all, patience on your next long trip to avoid any kind of mishap.
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