Your child's doctor and your pharmacist can answer questions about prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. (OTC medicines are medicines that you can buy without a prescription from your doctor.)
Here are some things you should know about each of the medicines that your child takes by mouth (oral medicines):
When your doctor prescribes a medicine, or when you ask about giving your child an OTC medicine, be sure to tell your doctor these things:
The pharmacist should tell you when and how to give your child the medicine, and should answer any questions you have about the medicine. For liquid medicines, the pharmacist should give you a measuring device and show you the right way to use it.
There are many things you can do to make medicine taste better to your child. Put liquid medicines in the refrigerator before giving them to your child. If your child will not take a medicine because of the taste, it may be okay to mix the medicine with a small amount of liquid (like juice) or soft food (like pudding). Ask your doctor or pharmacist about your child's medicine to see if this is okay. Some pharmacies have flavorings they can mix with liquid medicine before you take it home.
You should also explain to your child how medicine can help him or her stay healthy or feel better.
Store all medicines up and away, out of reach and sight of young children. Keeping medicines in a cool, dry place will help prevent them from becoming less effective before their expiration dates. Do not store medicines in bathrooms or bathroom cabinets, which are often hot and humid.
Funding and support for this material have been provided by the CHPA Educational Foundation.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff