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Medicines You Should not Give your Young Children

Young children are much more likely than adults to have adverse drug reactions, so giving your preschooler prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medication – even "herbal" medicines – is serious business. Here are some medicines you shouldn't give your 2- to 4-year-old.

Aspirin
Never give your child aspirin or any medication containing aspirin. Aspirin can make a child susceptible to Reye's syndrome — a rare but potentially fatal illness. Don't assume that the children's medicines found in drugstores will be aspirin-free. Aspirin is sometimes referred to as "salicylate" or "acetylsalicylic acid." Read labels carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you're not sure whether a product contains aspirin.
For fever and other discomfort, you may want to give your preschooler the correct dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Over-the-counter cough and cold medicines
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises against giving OTC cough and cold medicines to preschool-age children. Studies show that they don't actually help to soothe symptoms of kids this age. And they can be harmful, especially when a child mistakenly gets more than the recommended dose.
In addition to side effects like drowsiness or sleeplessness, upset stomach, and a rash or hives, a child can suffer serious effects such as rapid heart rate, convulsions, and even death. Every year, 7,000 children under the age of 11 are treated in U.S. emergency rooms after taking too much cough or cold medication.
If your preschooler is miserable with a cold, you may want to try a humidifier or other home remedies.

Anti-nausea medications
Don't give your child an anti-nausea medication (prescription or OTC) unless his doctor specifically recommends it. Most bouts of vomiting are pretty short-lived, and children usually handle them just fine without any medication. In addition, anti-nausea medications have risks and possible complications. (If your child is vomiting and begins to get dehydrated, contact his doctor for advice on what to do.)

Adult medications
Giving your child a smaller dose of medicine meant for an adult is dangerous. If the label doesn't indicate an appropriate dose for a child, don't give that medication to your preschooler.Any medication prescribed for someone else or for another condition
Prescription drugs intended for other people (like a sibling) or to treat other illnesses may be ineffective or even dangerous when given to your child. Give him only medicine prescribed for him and his specific condition.

Anything expired
Toss out medicines, prescription and OTC alike, as soon as they expire. Also get rid of discolored or crumbly medicines — basically anything that doesn't look the way it did when you first bought it. After the use-by date, medications may no longer be effective and can even be harmful. Don't flush old drugs down the toilet, as they can contaminate groundwater and end up in the drinking water supply. See what our expert says about how to safely dispose of expired medication.

Extra acetaminophen
Some medicines contain acetaminophen to help ease fever and pain, so be careful not to give your preschooler an additional separate dose of acetaminophen. If you're not sure what's in a particular medicine, don't give her acetaminophen or ibuprofen until you've first gotten the okay from your doctor or pharmacist.

Source: Baby Centre


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