Kids and medication

When the need arises to medicate your children, do you tell them what you are giving them? Do your children know what helps cure their headache or their stomach ache or what brings down their fever best?

I always tell my boys what they are taking. I have told them it is so important that they know what medicines they ingest. Obviously we are not talking about toddlers here, but kids say aged 7 and up.

If you have a friend’s child staying over at your house, or if your child is staying somewhere else, and they have a headache, and ask for something, they need to know what Mom / Dad would give them. If they have an allergy, the child needs to know that too.

What is automatic in one house isn’t necessarily the same. We take Advil for headaches, in other homes they might take Tylenol. My boys know Advil works better for them. It’s important to know that.

If your children take prescription medication, they need to know why they take them and how they work, don’t they?

Do your kids know what medications they take and when / why?

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  1. RubyV says:

    Yup. With Pixie’s allergy, this is doubly important because many meds have dairy derivatives, which can land her in the hospital or kill her.

    She know that the Epi-pen helps her breathe, benadryl stops the itching, and steriods help her recover, etc. After all, it is her body. She is entitled to know what goes into it and why.

    • as far as i know, casein, an enzyme in cow milk, is what people are allergic too. casein is not used in medicinal prepaperations. what is used, for example in tablets, is lactose, but this (hypothetically) results in milk intolerance, not an true allergic reaction

  2. Lisa says:

    Definitely. Our two know that we don’t use OTC medication very much. We have a strong theme of “know what you are putting in your body and why”. This bridged to many conversations: healthy eating, medications from doctor, street drugs, oh and believe it or not coffee! I know you put seven as a guideline, but we’ve been having those conversations with age appropriate language since they were preschoolers.

    • And here I worried someone was going to think I was nuts, having these conversations with a 3 year old! :) Thanks, Lisa! We cross-posted, and I agree with you 100%.

      • RubyV says:

        Same here. Especially when we’ve had to administer Epi (which as an IM, hurts like hell), we would tell her what it was and why, even when she was pre-verbal. At three, when hospitalized, she was able to tell the nursed what she needed as a result.

        I’m a firm believer that more info is always better, especially with chronic conditions in children.

  3. Oh, yes. When my son was in daycare, they made a mistake and gave him another child’s amoxicillin. Fortunately, he wasn’t allergic and was none the worse for wear – but I made sure as soon as my kids were old enough to understand and say “no” (about age 3, not 7) that they knew what they were taking, what it looked like, and who was allowed to give it to them. “If in doubt, say no and wait for mom” was the rule, and they were only to take medication directly from mom, dad, or the teacher/nurse in charge of dispensing medication – directly. They were not to take candy or soda from friends, let alone strangers, unless it was in its original wrapping, opened by them or in their visual presence (though this is generally more of a concern in the teen years, at parties and such).

  4. KosherAcademic says:

    Most definitely, even from an early age. Another reason is that I don’t want them thinking it is candy (since some meds actually taste good).

    • although parents often tell kids it’s candy in the hopes that a difficult child will take the medicine, this is a terribly dangerous thing to do. even at the youngest ages kids have to understand well the difference between candy and medicine

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