Medication Errors And
Kids: Nation's Other Drug Crisis
Every year, medicine misuse leads to the hospitalization
and even death of thousands of children. In fact, medication mistakes could
be seen as America's other drug crisis.
Experts say that of the 200 million prescriptions dispensed
for children each year, nearly half are taken incorrectly.
When children don't take enough of their medicine, or stop
taking it too soon, they may not control such serious disease as cancer, kidney
failure and epilepsy.
When they take too much of a medication, they may experience
such annoying and dangerous side effects as diarrhea or stomach upset, loss
of consciousness or fatal breathing problems.
What's a Parent To Do?
It's important for parents to understand their children's
medications. Here are some of the things you need to know.
Find out the name of the medicine and what it's supposed
Ask how much medicine the child should take, when it should
be taken and for how long.
Find out about possible side effects and what to do if
Ask if there is written information about the medicine
that you can take home.
When talking with your children about medicine, explain
the difference between using illegal drugs and taking medicine in order to get
It's important to get the child involved in the correct
And be sure babysitters and relatives who take care of
the children understand a child's medication routine.
If the child must take medication at school, be sure to
notify the teachers and the school nurse.
Also discuss your children's medications with your pharmacist.
That way, you can be sure your kids get all the benefits
of their medicine.
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