The administration of medicines without prescription in children is a large phenomenon at present among parents. They avoid going with the child to the doctor for the slightest pain or a simple cold and rely exclusively on the treatments suggested by acquaintances or pharmacists. The risks of administering inappropriate doses or dangerous drugs are very high and may endanger the life of the child.
Which medicines are most commonly given to children?
Medications without a prescription most often given to children are:
- painkillers (acetaminophen or ibuprofen);
- nasal decongestant;
- cough medicines or syrups;
- cortisone creams or ointments;
- drugs against constipation and diarrhea;
- other medicines to relieve cold and flu symptoms.
What are the risks of administering drugs without medical advice in children?
At the first symptoms of the flu or cold or a simple pain that the child is feeling, the parents immediately turn to a medicine they have at hand. Specialists are concerned that too soon and too easily resort to medication without medical advice, the risks to the health and life of the child are very high.
They claim that most of the medicines administered are useless, poorly chosen and given in inadequate doses, seriously affecting the body of the little ones.
Most cold and flu drugs are forbidden in children under 4 years old. They are not safe for them, even if the label shows that they are specially designed for this age.
Doctors argue that parents often tend to miss the recommended doses for children, combine dangerous drugs with each other, and there is a risk of overdose, intoxication, allergic reactions and endangering not only the health, but also the life of the child.
Aspirin is an extremely dangerous drug in children under 12 years and even above this age. Doctors recommend caution when using aspirin in childhood because of the increased risk of Reye syndrome (a type of encephalitis that threatens the child's life due to liver and brain degradation).
And antihistamines, which are extremely common in children and used in the treatment of allergies, need special treatment, especially when it comes to babies. They cannot be used in babies under 4 months and require caution in administration up to 1 year.
Anti-vomiting and anti-diarrheal drugs or for the treatment of digestive disorders are not safe in young children. Many of them have already proven adverse effects, while for others there are no studies that certify their safety in children. It is advisable to go with your child to a doctor for such conditions or to resort to natural methods of treating them.
Oral decongestants, in order to get rid of the nose of the child, should be avoided in children under 6 years. In general, it is advisable to avoid medicines to relieve cold and flu symptoms in children and to opt for natural alternatives. They are much safer and sometimes more efficient. There are natural remedies for almost all the symptoms of these conditions.
What should you be careful about when prescribing medicines without a prescription?
Parents need to be informed carefully and know all the risks that they pose to children when they choose to give them a medicine. Therefore, the careful reading of the package leaflet, especially regarding the side effects, contraindications and recommended doses for each age, must be done very carefully and exactly follow the mentioned indications.
However, there are certain diseases, allergies, intolerances or sensitivities of the child that you may not know and which place many restrictions on the administration of some medicines. The pediatrician who takes care of your baby knows best the medical condition and particularities of your child and is best able to prescribe medications.
If you are unsure about taking a medication that the child has never taken, call your pediatrician and consult with him before giving him, even if you do not go with the little one to the office. The doctor could explain the risks exactly to you and could offer you the safest alternatives for your child's suffering.
Tags Drugs for children Colds for children Flu for children Aspirin for children administration of medicines