Archive | Doctors & Medication

How To Dispose Old Medicine

Medicines play a significant role in treating illnesses and conditions. But, no matter how beneficial they may be in treating sick people, they can also be very harmful when they are no longer needed or expired. Want to know why? This is because there is a very big threat of toddlers getting their hands on old medicine that is casually thrown everywhere. Thus, it is very important for parents to be aware that there are some ways on how to correctly dispose old medicine. Here is a guide that can help.

Read The Medication Label For Instructions

The most important tip on how to dispose old medicine is to check the label for disposal information. Make sure you carefully comply with the disposal directions on the label. If you are unsure how to discard your old medications, you can either contact your pharmacist or check out the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) website for a list of medications with special disposal directions.

Look For Take-Back Medicine Programs

There are different options to throw away old medications. Your first option is to call your pharmacy and ask if they provide the “take-back medicine” service. Most pharmacies offer a take-back medicine program. This option is a good way to get rid of old medicines from the home and decreases the chance of family members, especially toddlers to accidentally take the medicine. However, some pharmacies only offer such program once or twice a year while others do not partake in the program. If your nearest pharmacy does not offer it, ask around to check if there is another pharmacy in your area that has it. You may also get in touch with your county or city government’s household trash and recycling service to find out if there is a take-back program in your area or visit the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration website for details on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Events.

Search For A Waste Disposal Program

Your second option is a waste disposal program. Go over the yellow pages or make a call to your local hospital and ask if they can recommend dangerous waste disposal companies. Most of these waste disposal companies will take old medicines. You may need to pay the waste disposal company but at least you can have peace of mind that your old medications will be properly discarded.

Throw Away Old Medicines In The Trash

If the two options above are not available in your area, then you can throw away your old medicines in the household trash. You can do this by following these simple steps:
•    Remove the old medicine out of its container.
•    Take out the label on the original package before throwing it in the trash.
•    If the medicine is solid, crush or grind it and mix with water.
•    Wear gloves and then place the old medicine in a sealed plastic bag along with coffee grounds, sawdust, dirt, kitty litter or anything that would make the medicine inedible.
•    Place the container in another sealed plastic bag and then throw the bag in your household trash. See to it that you place the trash can where your little one cannot reach it.

Never Flush Old Medicines Down The Sink or Toilet

Never use your toilet or sink to dispose old medicine. Parents are no longer allowed to flush medicines down the toilet or pour them down the sink. This is because medications that are flushed down can end up in the water supply which can contaminate the water and slip through water infiltration systems which could cause more damage to the health.

As you can see, there are many options of disposing old medicines so there is no excuse for throwing away old medications carelessly. Remember, knowing how to dispose old medicine the right way is very important in keeping your toddler safe from any health hazard.

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Toddler Medicine – Common Medication Mistakes Parents Make

Medicines are supposed to treat a sick individual. However, parents at times make dangerous choices about medicines. Below are six common toddler medicine mistakes parents make along with some advice on how to avoid them.

Mistake # 1: Playing Doctor

This is probably the most common medication mistake parents make. A lot of parents diagnose the problem themselves especially if one of their children has previously experienced the same condition. However, giving inappropriate medication can make a toddler sicker and lead to serious side effects. Thus, it is very important to leave the diagnosing to a medical expert. Your daughter’s medication might have cured her strep throat but it does not mean it will also be effective in treating your younger son’s infection.

Mistake # 2: Using The Wrong Dosing Device

A lot of parents use a kitchen spoon to administer medicine to their children. Kitchen spoons vary in size, some may be teaspoons or soup spoons which do not provide correct measurements – a toddler might get too much or too little medicine. Always use the dosing device that comes with the medication. If unavailable, you may use an oral dosing dropper or syringe which you can buy from drugstores.

Mistake # 3: Basing The Dose On A Toddler’s Age

Toddler medicine should be based on a child’s weight and not how old a child is. Know how much your toddler weighs and always consult with your pediatrician before giving your toddler medication especially if his weight is lower or higher than what is designated in his age category on the label.

Mistake # 4: Thinking More Is More

If the medicine is not working right away, giving a little more might help – right? Wrong. Never give your toddler an extra dose just to ease his discomfort. Doing so can cause serious harm to a toddler especially if you are giving him acetaminophen or antihistamine. Remember, it often takes 3 to 4 days for a medicine to be effective so be patient and wait it out.

Mistake # 5: Stopping Medication

Oftentimes, parents stop giving antibiotics once their toddler feels better especially if it is a struggle to get their child to take them. But stopping medication too early may not completely kill the infection and worse, it can boost the resistance of the bacteria in the body to the medication. If the doctor’s instruction says “2 times a day for 1 week”, make sure you follow through. Think of other ways to give medicine to your toddler such as mixing it to his food (see to it you ask your doctor’s approval first).

Mistake # 6: Using Leftover Medicine

Never give old medicine to a toddler. Most medications lose their potency over time. Check your medicine cabinet at least twice a year. Take out any medication that is expired or has a different color and consistency.

These blunders are all too easy for even the most cautious moms to commit. Make sure to keep these things in mind so you will not end up doing them.

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Preparing Your Toddler For A Visit To The Hospital

A visit to the hospital can be a nightmare for most toddlers. But with the support of parents, children can feel more at ease during hospital visits. Follow these tips to help your toddler have a positive hospital experience.

Keep Your Cool

It is normal for you to feel anxious about taking your toddler to the hospital. However, your toddler can sense your apprehension and make him more afraid. Thus, it is important for you to stay calm so you can help your toddler during his visit to the hospital. Share your worries with a friend or relative if this is the only way you can relax.

Talk About It

It is also very essential that you prep your toddler ahead of time. Explain what a hospital is, talk about what will happen and who will be there. Use words your little one can understand. Keep your explanation brief but clear. For example, if the two of you are going to the hospital for a routine check-up, tell your toddler that the doctor just wants to make sure he is healthy and strong. Welcome questions and answer them truthfully. Watch videos and read books about a toddler’s first hospital visit. Learning as much information as he can not only helps him prepare for the trip but also wards off any misinformation he may have heard.

Take A Hospital Tour

Part of preparing your toddler for a visit to the hospital is taking a tour of the building. Most pediatric units offer group and individual tours to acquaint children with the hospital atmosphere. Your toddler can get to know the staff, use the playroom (if there is one) or participate in “medical play” where he can touch and see equipments in the hospital.

Turn It Into A Game

Why not role play this event. Pretend play is very effective in providing children comfort and understanding about difficult situations. Purchase a toy stethoscope or a medical kit and play “going to the hospital” with your little one. He can examine his teddy or the two of you can take turns playing doctor and patient.

Bring Comfort Items

When it is time to go, do not just pack the essentials but bring one or two loveys such as a favorite stuffed animal, blanket, book, game, pajamas or a small album of family photos. Giving your toddler something to play with that reminds him of home will make him feel safe.

Stay With Your Toddler

Staying by his side is probably the most comforting thing you can do. Cuddle and talk to your little one. If you have to leave, make sure you tell your toddler where you will go and when you will be back. Reassure him that the hospital is a safe place, that the doctors and nurses will not hurt him and that he can go home once he gets better.

Although you will not be able to relieve all your toddler’s fears of visiting hospitals, you can help change his outlook by being honest, considerate and prepared.

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Finding A Doctor For Your Toddler – Recognizing The Signs of A Bad Doctor

A doctor should be a calmer and a healer for both parents and children. However, finding a doctor for your toddler can be quite tricky. Here are some tips to help you recognize a bad doctor from a good one.

Signs of A Bad Doctor

An Unsympathetic Attitude

A pediatrician should also be a toddler’s friend. Avoid a doctor who is cold or indifferent no matter how highly recommended that doctor is or how impressive his medical degree is. Caring and curing should stick together like glue. Find a doctor who is warm, interested and sensitive to your toddler’s needs.

Impatient

Knowing how to listen is an important trait every doctor must have. If the doctor insists on telling you what to do and how to do it without listening to what you have to say first, if it seems like he is lost in his thoughts or if he wants you to be out the door in a minute, then something is really wrong. A good doctor, no matter how demanding his schedule is will take the time to listen and answer your queries as well as explain what is happening.

Causes Negative Reactions

Sure, toddlers detest doctor visits. But, does your toddler scream and kick his legs more than he does when he sees needles? Pay close attention to how the doctor interacts with your toddler. If he makes your toddler uncomfortable, ignores your child or uses scare tactics (e.g. saying the toddler will die if he refuses to drink his medicine) to get your toddler to stop crying, consider finding someone else.

Poor References and Credentials

Spotting a bad doctor is easy if you take a look at his recommendations and certifications. Talk to a relative, neighbour, co-worker or anyone who may be familiar with the doctor. Check your state medical board to see if there are malpractices performed by the practitioner. Make sure he is board certified and is affiliated with a prestigious hospital.

Endless Appointments

Additional tests are okay especially for severe health conditions, but if the pediatrician orders you to take extra examinations or requires you to visit a few times a week more than necessary, consider it a red flag. Endless appointments are more beneficial for the doctor than the patient.

Uninformed

Doctors should always be up-to-date with the latest health information and medical breakthroughs. If the doctor is unable to explain to you the basics such as test results, the prescribed medication for your toddler or does not give you advice, this is a clear sign that he lacks knowledge.

Poor Office Atmosphere

Take a good look of the doctor’s office. Are the staff rude and have an unkempt look? Does the doctor keep you waiting past your scheduled time? Is the clinic filthy? A doctor’s office should give off a secure and happy vibe, especially for your toddler.

Your toddler’s pediatrician plays a big part in his first few years of life. So make sure you find a doctor that will make your toddler at ease rather than endure awkward appointments. Choose wisely.

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Preparing Your Toddler For A Visit To The Doctor

Nobody likes going to the doctor’s office. Taking your toddler for a visit to the doctor can be nerve-racking for the two of you. Here are some tips to make it less tense and perhaps, fun for your toddler.

Prep Your Toddler Early

That means, explaining to your toddler the purpose of the visit and everything that could happen. Do explain in a non-threatening manner, you would not want to set him in full panic mode would you? Tell him that the doctor will check on how he is growing and make sure that his body is healthy. Let him know that he can ask any questions to his doctor.

Another effective technique to prepare your toddler for a doctor visit is to role play at home. Buy a toy doctor medical kit and take turns playing doctor and patient. Pretend to weigh your toddler, record the results and use the toy stethoscope to listen to his heart beat. Explain to him why those things are done so he knows what to anticipate during the exam. Once he has a complete understanding of everything, he will not feel so afraid anymore.

Be Truthful

Do not tell your toddler it will not hurt, because you know very well it will. Instead, tell him that it will hurt, but only a little and it will be gone in a matter of time. This way, you avoid giving your toddler false expectations.

Set An Appointment

Doctors are very busy professionals. Hence, it is important to make an appointment a few days before. Time it right. As much as possible, do not do it on a Monday. Mondays are often packed with children who got sick over the weekend. Also, schedule it at a time your toddler is well-rested and in a good mood, like during daytime or after a nap. This is also a good time to fill the doctor and nurse in on any issues your toddler may have.

Make It A Family Affair

Try bringing your husband or a relative along during your toddler’s check-up. The extra pair of hands will make everything much easier for all of you. If he has older siblings, take them all with you to the doctor. That way, he will not feel so alone.

Bring Comfort Items

On the day of his check-up, make sure you bring your toddler’s favorite toy, blanket, coloring book, crayons or any item that makes your toddler comfortable to keep him busy while waiting for the doctor to arrive at the clinic or for his turn. Do not forget to pack a light snack as well in case your little one gets hungry.

Offer A Treat

It is also a great idea to have a treat after your visit to the doctor. It can be as simple as eating at his favorite fast food chain, buying him a new toy, playing in the local park, going to the zoo or cooking his favorite dish for dinner. This will give your toddler something to look forward to.

Going to the doctor will not be so scary as long as you show your support and think of creative ways that will put your toddler’s mind at ease.

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Stocking First-aid Kits For Children

Having a well-stocked first-aid kit is a necessity especially when you have children. First-aid kits can be bought at drugstores or your local Red Cross office or you can make one of your own. If you decide to make one, make sure you stock up on these following essentials.

A Small Container

First, you need storage for your first-aid kit supplies. You may buy a small plastic or metal lunchbox if you do not have one at home. A lunchbox has a handle which makes the kit easy to tote around. A medium-sized plastic, resealable container (Ziploc) will also work for a first-aid kit.

Dressings

A properly stocked first-aid kit needs a variety of dressings for covering different types of wounds. Store at least five of each items – adhesive bandages, compress dressings, gauze pads, roller bandages, triangular bandages, antiseptic wipes (for sanitizing the wound area before bandaging it), antibiotic wipes and first-aid tape.

Sterile Medical Supplies

Always keep 2 pairs of latex gloves (large) in your first-aid kit. You need to also have a CPR mask with a one-way valve to help a victim who has ceased breathing. Other sterilized medical supplies that should be in your first-aid kit include – scissors, tweezers (to remove splinter and dirt from a wound), soap, topical antiseptic (e.g. Betadine), rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizer.

Digital Thermometer

Go for a digital thermometer instead of a glass thermometer so you do not have to deal with mercury contamination in case it breaks. Digital thermometers are the easiest to use for fever detection and monitoring.

Secondary Items

Add items such as children’s acetaminophen and ibuprofen, Tylenol, calamine lotion, cortisone cream, bug spray, a lightweight blanket, cotton, cotton swabs, tissues, safety pins, compression wraps (for controlling the spread of swelling and treating muscle pulls) and an ice pack or instant cold pack (to relieve burns, bumps and inflammation).

List of Emergency Numbers

Include the phone numbers of your toddler’s doctor, local Poison Control Center, fire, ambulance, hospital and police services, the home and work numbers of family members, friends and neighbours who can help in an emergency situation.

Child CPR Booklet

Attach a brochure to the inside lid of the kit on how to perform child CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation). You can get a free booklet at your local fire station. As much as possible, take a child CPR or emergency training course so you know how to handle an emergency while waiting for medical help to arrive.

Survival Supplies

This one is optional. But, stocking your first-aid kit with survival supplies will be very beneficial especially during larger emergencies such as earthquakes or hurricanes. You do not have to pack a lot, just keep basic survival supplies on hand such as bottled water, non-perishable foods (e.g. canned goods, dry goods like cereal, crackers, trail mix and candies), flashlight, spare batteries, a whistle, can opener and a small radio).

Store your first-aid kit in a place that is out of your toddler’s reach and make sure you regularly check the kit so you can replace missing items or items that may have expired.

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Finding A Doctor For Your Toddler

Finding a doctor for your toddler is one of the most crucial responsibilities you have as a parent. But with a little time and research, you can find one that will give utmost care for your precious one. Here is a list of qualities you should look for.

Qualities A Good Doctor Should Have

The perfect doctor for your toddler should be:

Certified and Experienced

An excellent and poor doctor can both have fancy diplomas and remarkable credentials. Likewise, a doctor who went to the most prestigious medical school does not automatically mean that person is the best in the medical field. Look for a board certified pediatrician. This way, you can be sure that the doctor has a clean record. Also check with the Federal of State Medical Boards to see if there is any case against the doctor.

Make sure that the doctor has a few years of experience either in practice or through internship. You can verify this by checking the certificates in the doctor’s clinic. Avoid a doctor who is not affiliated with a hospital or is connected with a hospital that has a bad reputation.

Kind and Genuine

Look for a doctor with a compassionate attitude. If you find a doctor you feel comfortable with, then most probably your toddler will feel comfortable too. A good pediatrician shows genuine care for children, is warm, attentive and knows how to distract and relieve a nervous toddler. So even if your toddler is not looking forward to his doctor visits, at least he will be somewhat at ease when he is inside the clinic.

Patient

This is one very important quality which a doctor must possess. Dealing with children is difficult and definitely not easy. A good doctor should know how to handle a cranky or terrified toddler and an anxious parent. Go for a doctor who can keep calm and remain composed even in the midst of crisis.

A Listener and A Responder

A good doctor knows how to listen, understand your emotional condition and will comfort you to give you some sense of relief. The doctor should have an open mind and should be able to respect your own childcare philosophies (e.g. feeding, sleep, immunizations, etc.). A good doctor will explain and share that knowledge with you in a language you can understand, not medical jargon. If the doctor takes time to answer and reply to your queries and concerns, you know that that doctor is a keeper.

Easy to Reach

Doctors are busy people so it should be made clear how you can contact the doctor during nights and weekends, who you can call in case the doctor is out and if you can make emergency visits or re-schedule appointments.

Respectful of Your Time

A good doctor has regular office hours, is not late and will avoid taking phone calls, being disrupted by a nurse with queries or getting impatient to end your consultation. A doctor who respects your time does not mean you will never have to wait especially during peak-hours or emergencies. It only means that even if things are busy around the clinic, the staff should never put you on hold and should keep you informed how long you will have to wait.

A doctor plays a very important role in the life of your toddler. So never settle for anything less and choose a doctor who can meet or better yet, exceed the qualities mentioned above.

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Eight Toddler Medicines To Avoid

Medicines give relief to anyone in pain. However, some of these medications are not intended for toddlers. Here are eight toddler medicines you should never give to your precious one.

Aspirin

Aspirin in one of the most common over-the-counter medicines, but it should never be given to your toddler nor any medication that contains aspirin. Aspirin can make a toddler vulnerable to Reye’s syndrome – a rare but lethal condition. In addition, it is also very important that you read labels carefully since some children’s medicines are not aspirin-free (aspirin is also known as acetylsalicylic acid or salicylate). Consult your pediatrician or pharmacist if you are unsure if a product is aspirin-free. Give the right dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen instead to relieve your tot’s fever and other discomfort.

Anti-nausea Medications

Never give your toddler an anti-nausea medicine unless his pediatrician specifically prescribes it. Most cases of nausea are transitory so toddlers can handle them just fine sans any medication. Furthermore, the use of anti-nausea medicines can cause health complications such as abdominal pain, blurred vision, constipation, cramps, dehydration, dry mouth, fatigue, headache and restlessness.

Chewables

Most parents think that chewable medicines are good for children of any age, but you should be very careful about giving one of these drugs to your little one. Chewable tablets are a choking hazard so even if your toddler is an expert at eating solid foods, the tablet can still get stuck in his throat causing him to choke. If you wish to give chewables to your toddler, crush it first and then mix the medicine to your toddler’s food.

Cough and Cold Medicines

Over-the-counter medications for coughs and colds do not effectively work on children below the age of six. As a matter of fact, they can be harmful to a toddler’s body. Cough and cold medications cause a lot of side effects like drowsiness, increased heart rate, rashes, seizures, upset stomachs and even death. A better solution for your toddler’s cough and cold is to use a humidifier (the moist air helps loosen mucus in the nasal passages) and other home remedies like chicken soup and other warm liquids, honey and plenty of fluids.

Expired Medicines

Not giving expired medications to anyone is common knowledge of course. All medications have a shelf life and once they have reached the expiration date, they become ineffective and harmful. Check your medicine cabinet from time to time. Throw away expired medicines or anything that does not look the way it did when you first bought it (dry, crumbly, discolored, etc.).

Infant and Adult Medications

Giving your toddler a higher dose of infant medicine is as hazardous as giving a smaller dose of adult medicine. Infant drops are more concentrated than children’s medicine. To ensure you get the right children’s medicine for your toddler, make sure you check the label if it specifies a correct dosage for the weight and age of your toddler.

Ipecac Syrup

Ipecac syrup is used to induce vomiting and to prevent poisoning. However, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) no longer recommends ipecac syrup since there is no proof that vomiting helps in the treatment of poisoning. In fact, it can cause side effects such as diarrhea, drowsiness, stomach cramps and difficulty in breathing.

Muscle Rubs

While muscle rubs can open congested airways and nasal passages, the decongestant benefits are superficial and only lasts for short periods of time. Muscle rubs contain camphor, which is very dangerous since it can cause skin irritation, impaired breathing, vomiting and muscle spasm.

Remember that toddlers are more prone to adverse reactions than adults, so giving your toddler prescription, over-the-counter and herbal medicines should be done with precaution. Always ask your doctor’s advice first before giving anything to your toddler.

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