Stocking Baby's Medicine Cabinet

Medicine Dos and Don'ts

When it comes to treating your child, keep these medicine pointers in mind.

  • Ask your doctor whether medicine should be given before or after meals (or with breast milk or formula).
  • Inform your doctor if baby is taking any other medicine -- mixing certain over-the-counter medicines may not be safe.
  • Keep medicine out of children's reach.
  • Don't call your child's medicine "candy."
  • Measure medicine carefully -- even the difference of a milliliter can overdose a baby -- and use an appropriate dosing device rather than a kitchen spoon.
  • Call your doctor if the medicine doesn't seem to be working, your child's condition worsens, or you notice unexpected side effects.
  • Never give your child aspirin. It can cause Reye's syndrome, a serious condition that affects the brain and internal organs.

Catherine Dundon, MD, FAAP, is an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical School.

Originally published in American Baby magazine, December 2004.

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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