"Over-the-counter" (OTC) means you can buy the medicine without a doctor's prescription. This doesn't mean that OTCs are harmless. Like prescription medicines, OTCs can be dangerous if not taken the right way. Talk with your child's doctor before giving your child any medicine, especially the first time.
All OTC medicines have the same kind of label. The label gives important information about the medicine. It says what it is for, how to use it, what is in it, and what to watch out for. Look on the box or bottle, where it says "Drug Facts." ALSO REMEBER... Over-the-counter cough and cold medicine should not be given to children under the age of 4.
Ask the Doctor or Pharmacist
Check the chart on the label to see how much medicine to give. If you know your child's weight, use that first. If not, go by age. Check the label to make sure it is safe for infants and toddlers younger than 2 years. If you are not sure, ask your child's doctor.
Before you give your child any medicines, be sure you know how to use them. Here are some questions you can ask the doctor or pharmacist:
- How will this medicine help my child?
- Can you show me how to use this medicine?
- How much medicine do I give my child? When? For how long?
- Are there any side effects from this medicine?
- How can I learn more about this medicine?
- What if my child spits it out?
- Does it come in chewable tablets or liquid?
Also, always tell your child's doctor or pharmacist:
- If your child is taking any other medicines.
- If your child has any reactions to a medicine.
Call the Doctor Right Away If...Your child throws up a lot or gets a rash after taking any medicine. Even if a medicine is safe, your child may be allergic to it.
Your child may or may not have side effects with any drug. Be sure to tell the doctor if your child has any side effects with a medicine...to read the full article click below.
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**article provided by healthychildren.org