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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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