Mistakes Giving Children Medications Are Avoidable
Parents, family, and child care professionals devote themselves to the welfare of children. Yet, even with love and devotion, 80 percent of deaths of children under five-years of age are avoidable. More then half of those deaths are caused by mistakes in the administration of medications given to benefit the child. An even greater number of children are injured or suffer serious side effects from inadvertent errors of common health aids found in most homes.
Before giving any medication, whether prescription or over-the-counter, (OTC), child care providers must know the weight, age, allergies, and sensitivities of the patient. Plus, it is vital that caregivers know what and when other medications and foods have been ingested by the child. An up to date list of medications and dosages should always be available. A great way to record food and medications given to children is with a daily log kept in a visible place for all adults, (parents, family, and nannies), to use and communicate with one another.
Before administrating any prescription medication to a child, the caregiver must assess the child's needs: know what to give, why the child needs it, how to contact the professional that is prescribing it, when to give it, how to store it, where to refill it, and at what cost the medication can purchased.
Caregivers should be aware of probable side effects and how to manage them if they occur. Know whether to give the medication until it is finished or only until symptoms abate. Keep the phone number of the prescribing physician and pharmacy visible in the event of questions regarding reactions or directions.
Since each person has a unique chemical composition, side effects and each individual's reaction to a medication cannot be anticipated. Therefore, unexpected reactions must be reported to a licensed medical provider.