Safety and Your Child's Medicine by Tracy Davenport

A baby with a chronic illness may need to have one or more medications, possibly for long periods of time. Follow these tips to reduce problems with medications.

Read Tracy’s blog.

A baby with a chronic illness may need to have one or more medications, possibly for long periods of time. Often these medications are given at home by the parents or a caregiver.

The parents and/or the caregiver of a chronically-ill baby may find times when he or she is under great stress. When this happens, attention to detail can go lacking, and a resultant problem could be improper dosage of medication given to the child.

However, you can take steps that can help you reduce errors in giving medication at home. Following are a few common-sense suggestions that you may find helpful.

Suggestion 1: Have one person in charge of medications.

In our home, we have found that if one person is in charge of giving the medications each day it makes the issue of when and how much is given significantly easier to deal with. When it is not possible to have just one person give the medication (for such reasons as conflicting work schedules) then good communication between those giving the medicine is critical.

Suggestion 2: Use a daily recording chart.

Try using a simple chart to track when medicine is given, and how much was given. We strongly suggest you include the "date" since medications might be given for a specific length of time, and this could help you track "start-to-finish" dates.

Suggestion 3: Following doctors, and medications, directions-exactly!

Pretty simply, follow the orders on how and when to give the medications. Read the label and advisory notices that come with the medicine. Keep an eye out for possible negative effects of the medication. If you see or suspect any, inform your health care professional pronto!

Suggestion 4: Keep medications in one central (and safe) area.

Keep medicines locked up and out of the reach of children, even if they have child resistant caps. This can be difficult-but still important to do if the medicine needs to be refrigerated. Don't be fooled into thinking that a child resistant cap will prevent an accidental poisoning—they only slow a determined children down.

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