13 Tips for Parents Using OTC Medicines

  1. Always read and follow the label.
  2. Only use a medicine that treats your child’s specific symptoms.
  3. Never give two medicines with any of the same active ingredients.
  4. Always give the recommended dose and use the correct measuring device. Never use a medicine longer than the label instructs or at higher doses, unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
  5. When possible, dose by your child’s weight following the instructions on the label or by receiving instructions from your healthcare provider.
  6. Do not use oral cough and cold medicines in children under the age of 4.
  7. Never use cough, cold, or allergy medicines to sedate your child.
  8. Never give aspirin-containing products to children and adolescents for cold or flu symptoms unless told to do so by a healthcare provider.
  9. Do not give a medicine only intended for adults to a child.
  10. Keep all medicines and vitamins out of your child’s reach and sight.
  11. Teach your child about using medicines safely. (See the video from the FDA.)
  12. Stop use and contact your healthcare provider immediately if your child develops any side effects or reactions that concern you.
  13. Consult a healthcare provider or pharmacist with any questions.