Nonprescription medicine and children

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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:45 pm
There are many nonprescription medications available for treating children's illnesses. These range from ear and eye preparations, analgesics (ann-uhl-JEE-ziks), medicines for the common cold, agents for common gastrointestinal (gas-tro-in-TESS-tuh-nul) problems, and skin preparations. While over-the-counter drugs are generally safe and effective, nearly all of these commonly-used medications have some possible side effects, so be aware of what those could be and keep an eye out for them. Some medications, such as aspirin, should never be given to a child. Here are some recommendations for administering medicines. First, always read the label and follow the instructions for proper dosage, rather than guessing how much medicine to give. Be sure you know what the abbreviations mean and measure accurately. Always follow the recommendations for age limits. Some medicines go by a child's weight, rather than age. If the child already is taking one medication, check with a physician or pharmacist before adding additional ones. All medications, both prescription and non-, should be kept out of the reach of children. Make sure all medicines are locked away and have child-resistant caps.
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