Esteemed pediatrician and author helps parents cope with the confusion of
dosing and giving medication to their children
CINCINNATI, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- All too often, parents forget to handle with care the everyday medications we give our children, especially when it comes to the readily available over-the-counter medications. The recent infant cold and cough products recall serves as a frightening, but important reminder that no medicine comes without risk.
Dr. Laura Jana, accomplished pediatrician, author, and mother of three, acknowledges parents' natural instinct to try and make their children feel better when they're sick, but warns that overdosing can cause serious side effects. Here she provides five important ways parents can ensure accurate dosing of medication for their infants and young children:
1. Children are not simply little adults. Never assume that adult
medications are OK to give to children. What is recommended for
treating adults is not always approved for use with children. Not only
can dosing and frequency of use vary significantly, but children may
also be at risk for unwanted side effects not experienced by adults.
2. Weight matters. Too much of a medication can be very harmful, while too
little may prove ineffective. While medications approved for use in
adults and older children typically offer dosing instructions by age,
what's most important for accurate dosing of medications given to young
children (especially those under the age of 2) is their actual weight.
Given that weight can change significantly over relatively short
periods of time at this age, parents should always talk to their doctor
or pharmacist before administering medication to their children to make
sure they're giving the right amount.
3. Treat symptoms only as needed. It's important that parents don't over
treat their children by using medications designed to tackle an
all-encompassing list of symptoms. If a child has a horribly runny nose
and a hacking cough significant enough to warrant treatment, then it's
best to use medications made to treat those specific symptoms. Also, be
sure to continue to use them only for as long as they are truly
4. Coping with rejection. Let's face it, some medicine - both
over-the-counter and prescription - doesn't taste so good. And even
when it does, young children who don't feel well are prone to spitting
it out, throwing it up, or simply rejecting it altogether. While it may
be tempting to try and mask the taste by mixing the medication directly
with other liquids in a child's bottle, unfortunately, parents are
all-too-often left guessing how much medication has actually been
absorbed when children fail to finish drinking it. Since repeat dosing
runs the real risk of an overdose, it's critical to discuss with your
child's doctor before offering a second dose, and better yet - getting
it right the first time.*
5. Contact Your Doctor or Pharmacist. Remember, you're not a doctor.
You're a parent. Rely on credible sources, such as your pharmacist and
child's pediatrician, to make sure you always get the right medication
for your child's symptoms, the right amount of medication for your
child's age and weight, and that you are giving it to your children the
right way. Doctors and pharmacists can give you additional valuable
information, such as which medications should not be mixed with other
liquids, so you can make sure the medicine you're giving is not only
necessary, but that it is going to be safe and effective as well.
As we head into yet another cold and flu season, remember to ask yourself (and your child's doctor) if over-the-counter medications are really necessary before getting them off the shelf. If your child is eating and playing normally, and you find yourself having to chase him all around the house in order to give him something to treat his symptoms, the odds are in your favor that he's probably going to be OK without it. Just as adults don't always need medicine to make them feel better when they're sick, the same rules apply to kids. As a parent, always remember to ask yourself: "Does this [runny nose] bother me more than it actually bothers my child?" If so, a tissue may be all the treatment you need.
About Dr. Jana
Dr. Laura Jana is a board-certified pediatrician, a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Associate Director of the Boys Town Institute for Child Health Improvement based in Omaha, Nebraska. She is the co-author of the parenting book, Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality (AAP, 2005), as well as Food Fights: Winning The Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed with Insight, Humor and a Bottle of Ketchup (AAP, Oct 2007). Having served as a consultant to Dr. Benjamin Spock and subsequently co- founding the national parenting media company named after her mentor in 1999, Dr. Jana has remained dedicated to promoting what she considers to be "reality parenting" ever since.
Dr. Jana is a paid consultant of Blaine Pharmaceuticals.
ReliaDose is manufactured by Blaine Pharmaceuticals, and is a revolutionary medicine delivery system for babies that was invented by a mom to help ensure accurate dosing of liquid medications and supplements for children ages 0-18 months.
ReliaDose features a complete, patented system - including a dual-chamber nipple, bottle and dosing syringe - that effectively masks the taste of medicine while ensuring safer, more accurate dosing. Its patented dual-chamber nipple allows medication to be delivered directly to the child's mouth, improving medication acceptance, while the syringe allows for medicine to be given at a comfortable rate and ensures the right amount of medicine has been delivered. Because the medicine in the syringe never directly mixes with bottle contents, ReliaDose allows medication to be delivered without dilution or contamination.
ReliaDose is now available in nearly 20,000 retail locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, including Wal-Mart, Rite Aid, K-Mart, Kroger Grocery Stores, Publix Super Markets, Longs Drugs, Kerr Drug, and Fruth Pharmacies, as well as select H.E.B. Food and Target Stores. In addition, ReliaDose is also available online at CVS.com, Walgreens.com and numerous other websites.
More information can be found at http://www.ReliaDose.com.
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