Mullingar pharmacists warn of health risks when giving children medicine

Mullingar pharmacists Eamonn Brady and Niall Weir are highlighting the need for parents to be careful before giving medicine to children, and to seek the advice of their pharmacist to determine the appropriate medicine and dose for their child’s age and symptoms.

They warn that you should never give a child a medicine meant for an adult, and never give a child two types of medication which contain the same ingredients.

Eamonn Brady of Whelehans Pharmacy explains, “It is important to ensure the safe use of both over-the-counter and prescription medicines. Paediatric dosages need to be adjusted to age and body weight and, as a result, children are considered to be more vulnerable to dosage errors than adults. Also, different medications have different concentrations of ingredients.”

The following are guidelines when giving medicine to a child:

Be sure you are giving the right medicine and the right amount.

Follow the directions on the label. Never give medicine more frequently than recommended by your pharmacist or doctor.

Always use a 5ml spoon or dosage syringe provided with the medication. Never guess the dose.

Follow age and weight limit recommendations.

Make sure the child takes all of the medicine each time.

Check with the pharmacist before chilling or crushing medicine as this could alter the effectiveness of some medicines.

Do not give aspirin to children under 16, unless specifically prescribed by a doctor.

Store medicines in a cool, dry place, well out of the reach of children.

Cold and flu remedies are not recommended for children under six.

Niall Weir of Weirs Pharmacy says that parents should always inform their pharmacist if their child has any allergies or is taking any other medication.

“If a parent notices any adverse side-effects having given their child medication (other than that outlined by their pharmacist ) such as a rash, hives, vomiting, diarrhoea, or trouble breathing or swallowing, they should seek immediate medical assistance.”

You do not need to make an appointment to see your pharmacist; simply call in for advice. All pharmacies now have a private consultation room.

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