Mistakes Giving Medications to Children are Avoidable

Parents, family, and caregivers devote themselves to the welfare of children. Yet, even with love and devotion, 80 percent of deaths of children under five-years of age are avoidable. More then half of those deaths are caused by mistakes in the administration of medications given to benefit the child. An even greater number of children are injured or suffer serious side effects from inadvertent errors of common health aids found in most homes.

Before giving any medication, whether prescription or over-the-counter, (OTC), child care providers must know the weight, age, allergies, and sensitivities of the patient. Plus, it is vital that caregivers know what and when other medications and foods have been ingested by the child. An up to date list of medications and dosages should always be available. A great way to record food and medications given to children is with a daily log kept in a visible place for all adults, (parents, family, baby-sitters, and nannies), to use and communicate with one another.

Before administrating any prescription medication to a gw-501516 for sale child, the caregiver must assess the child’s needs: know what to give, why the child needs it, how to contact the professional that is prescribing it, when to give it, how to store it, where to refill it, and at what cost the medication can purchased. Be aware of probable side effects and how to manage them if they occur. Know whether to give the medication until it is finished or only until symptoms abate. Keep the phone number of the prescribing physician and pharmacy visible in the event of questions regarding reactions or directions.

Since each person has a unique chemical composition, side effects and each individual’s reaction to a medication cannot be anticipated. Unexpected reactions must be reported to a licensed medical provider. No medications that have expired should be given to anyone at any time. Do not follow the advice of a friend, neighbor, or grandparent, however well meaning, regarding the treatment for a child. Seek the best advice from a trained professional and not merely from a convenient source.

OTC preparations pose a special challenge for child care providers. They require no prescription, are widely available, and are relatively inexpensive. Yet, they can be hazardous if used inappropriately. Child care providers must carefully read and understand the labeling found on every package.