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Medication, including vitamins, must be used and administered as directed by your child's healthcare provider. Keep your child safe from accidental poisoning by following the CDC's recommendations:
- Do not put your next dose on the counter or table where children can reach them.
- If you have to do something else while taking medicine, such as answer the phone, take any young children with you.
- Secure the child safety cap completely every time you use a medicine.
- After using them, do not leave medicines out. As soon as you are done with them, put them away and out of sight in a childproof cabinet where a child cannot reach them.
- Be aware of any legal or illegal drugs that guests may bring into your home. Ask guests to store drugs where children cannot find them. Children can easily get into pillboxes, purses, backpacks, or coat pockets.
1. Always read and follow the Drug Facts label on your OTC medicine.
2. Know the ‘active ingredient’ in your child’s medicine. The "active ingredients" can be found in "Drug Facts" on the label of the medicine.
3. Give the right medicine, in the right amount, to your child.
4. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse to find out what mixes well and what doesn’t.
5. Use the dosing tool that comes with the medicine, such as a dropper or a dosing cup.
6. Know the difference between a tablespoon and a teaspoon.
7. Know your child’s weight.
8. Prevent a poison emergency by always using a child-resistant cap.
9. Store all medicines in a safe place.
10. Check the medicine three times.
In addition to the above tips,
- The FDA is requiring drug manufacturers to include a dose delivery device (i.e. medicine dropper, cap, syringe, etc) that has clear, visible dosing measurements with all orally ingested liquid medications to ensure safe, accurate dosing. If the medication did not come with a specific dispenser or you have misplaced the measuring device, do not use other measuring devices (spoons, medicine droppers, etc) since these may not be accurate. Instead, contact your child's healthcare provider or the pharmacist for their recommendations for accurate dosing.
- Do not give children medications labeled only for adults.
- Be very careful if you are giving more than one medicine to a child and make sure medicines do not have the same type of active ingredients.
- The FDA recommends that over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold products not be used for infants and children under 2 years of age due to serious and potentially life-threatening side effects.
- Accurate dosing of medication is based on child's current weight. Administering medications to young children without approval from his/her healthcare provider can lead to drug overdose.
- The FDA recommends that anyone with questions about dosage delivery devices or how to measure liquid OTC medicines contact a physician, pharmacist, or other health care professional.
DO NOT GIVE ANY MEDICATION BEFORE CONSULTING YOUR PEDIATRICIAN
cc (cubic centimeters) = ml (milliliters)
1 cc = 1 ml
1 teaspoon (tsp) = 5 cc = 5 ml
1 tablespoon (tbsp) = 15 cc = 15 ml = 3 teaspoons
1 ounce (oz) = 30 cc = 30 ml = 2 tablespoons = 6 teaspoons
8 ounces = 240 cc = 240 ml
16 ounces = 1 pound (lb)
2.2 pounds = 1 kilogram (kg)
1 kilogram = 1000 grams (g)
Do not use household teaspoons or tablespoons, which can vary in size
CDC (2011). Tips to Prevent Poisonings
FDA (2011). FDA Issues Final Guidance for Liquid OTC Drug Products with Dispensing Devices
FDA (2008). Using Over-the-Counter Cough and Cold Products in Children
FDA (2011). Public Health Advisory: FDA Recommends that Over-the-Counter (OTC) Cough and Cold Products not be used for Infants and Children under 2 Years of Age.
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