Five Key Ways To Ensure Accurate Dosing Of Liquid Medication To Infants

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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:

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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.

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