Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had a discussion on improving the dosage instructions on fever-reducing medicine containing acetaminophen in order to safeguard kids two years old and below from possible side effects such as poisoning, liver failure and even death.
Said pediatrician Dr. Daniel Frattarelli, ““If we give parents better information, they will be able to give enough of the medicine to work well, at the same time minimizing the side effects,”
Over-the-counter fever medication for children comes with corresponding dosages based on the child’s age or weight range. But what happens when your child’s weight is beyond or below the average weight for his age? Parents thus run the risk of overdosing or under-dosing their child’s medication.
Lisa, a mom to a bigger than average 8-month-old boy, was worried when her son’s fever wouldn’t go down despite giving the appropriate dose for his age range. As he was bigger than most 8-month-old babies, Lisa gave him an amount between two doses.
When the fever still wouldn’t go down, Lisa brought him to a hospital and a nurse explained how a child’s fever can go down by just giving him the exact dose based on his weight. And it worked for her child.
Want to be on the safe side when giving medicine to your infant or child? The FDA gives some tips:
1. Always read and follow the drug facts label on the medicine. 2. Make sure you know the active ingredient in the medicine. 3. Use the dropper or medicine cup that comes with the medicine. 4. Know your child’s weight. 5. Keep a childproof cap on medicine bottles to prevent poisoning. 6. Keep medicines according to storage instructions.
Sources: • May 17, 2011. “FDA Panels to Weigh Dosing Labels for Kids’ OTC Fever Relievers” Pharmacyeugene.com • June 1, 2011. Lisa F. “Why Children’s Weight Should Determine Exact Medication Dosages” GrowingYourBaby.com