What Pediatricians Wish Parents Knew About Giving Kids Medicine

What Pediatricians Wish Parents Knew About Giving Kids Medicine

Written By: Katie K. Lockwood, MD, Med
Summarized By: Monica Urquiola, APRN, FNP-BC, CLC


Over the counter medications are consistently used by parents to treat all manner of things, but it is important to remember the basics.

Some of the most common questions I hear include: Is my child old enough to take this medicine? What dosage should I give? How do I administer it? Is this medicine going to help and is it appropriate to give in the current situation?

When a child has with a cold, stomach virus or other common childhood illness, parents and caregivers suddenly have to wear many hats: family doctor, nurse and pharmacist. Here, Katie Lockwood, MD, MEd, an attending physician at CHOP Primary Care, South Philadelphia, answers the most frequent questions pediatricians get from parents and what pediatricians wish more parents knew about providing medication to their children.

Easily accessible medication isn’t necessarily safe for all uses.

Just because a product is sold in your local drug store doesn’t necessarily mean it’s been FDA approved or otherwise regulated. For example, dietary and herbal supplements don’t fall under the FDA’s jurisdiction at all. Similarly, the FDA reviews the active ingredients in OTC medications but doesn’t formally approve them.

Some OTC medications can be abused.

Especially for older children, if you have concerns about their mental health or they have a history of substance abuse, it may be smart to limit their access to certain OTC medications.

Most fevers are less serious than you think.

No parent likes to see their child uncomfortable as they deal with a fever. And let’s face it, anything above a very low-grade fever can look scary. Parents often want to give antipyretics (fever reducers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen) at the first sign of a fever. It’s important to remember that fevers are our body’s natural way of fighting an infection. Fever alone doesn’t always need to be treated.

More vitamins aren’t necessarily better.

Most kids with a healthy diet get enough vitamins and minerals from their food — which is the best way to get them anyway. Multiple vitamins aren’t necessary for most children and could even be harmful if doses of certain vitamins are too high. Check with your pediatrician before adding any vitamins or other dietary supplements to your child’s routine.

Keep your pediatrician in the loop.

Your pediatrician needs to know what medications (prescription or OTC) and supplements your child is taking. But they rely on you to share that information with them. Remember to update your child’s medication list at each appointment or mention any new medications if you’re calling with a question.

When in doubt, you can always call your pediatrician with questions about medications and/or how to handle a mistake. If you think your child is in danger because of a medication they took or the size of the dose, call Poison Control (1-800-222-1222) for quick advice or go directly to the Emergency Department.

At the end of the day, the most important item I want you as a parent to take away, is to ALWAYS keep your provider “in the loop” and when in doubt, ask about any over the counter medication. When coming into your appointments, always let us know about any medication given, OTC or prescribed.

Take a picture of the medicine or bring it with you in a Ziploc bag. Remember we are here to support, educate and help your child, so the more open communication we create with our parents, the better the outcome will be for your child.

What clients are saying ...

Dr Bob has been seeing my twins since they got out of the NICU and we love him. Very attentive, very nice, knowledgeable and understanding.

We recently moved so now it takes us up to 45 minutes to get there when it used to take us 15 minutes but we’ll never change doctors.

The office is always clean and the staff is super nice, highly recommended
Erika Nani - Jun 28, 2022
I love Celebration Pediatrics. The office staff is so kind and always willing to accommodate me when I need a last minute appointment or to reschedule. The doctors and nurses are also incredible.

My family loves Dr. Anwer, he is a remarkable doctor. You can tell he is very passionate about his career and genuinely loves his patients which is so important. He doesn’t treat my kids like just another patient but instead takes his time to ask questions and really understand our concerns.

I really could not recommend this office and Doctor enough!
Paola Vecco - June 22, 2022
The entire staff as you walk in are AMAZING!!! They greet you with smiles answer all questions and treat your child like it was their own.

There was no wait time and super super friendly!!! I am so happy they took great care of us. Dr. C is Amazing too!! Super great listener and. Wonderful dr.

Although we are new there she seemed like she knew and understood very well my sons asthma conditions!! Thanks everyone!!! Lots of love for you all!❤️❤️❤️ Sincerely, Happy Mommy 😃😃😃💯💯💯💯
Linda Sosa - March 23, 2022
This was our first visit with this center, and it was incredible, the registration was fast, the waiting time to go to the room was short, and the best of all this was the wonderful treatment of Dr. Toma with our daughter was incredible

Our daughter said for the first time that she loved going to the doctor and that the doctor was very funny and kind to her, and like a parents made us feel safe, she explained everything to us, the treatment towards us was wonderful, recommended a thousand percent,

Dr. Toma is wonderful. Amazing ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Awilda Garcia - Feb 15, 2022
Fantastic doctors, nurses, and staff! Patient, listen, educate, answer every question, and spend adequate time with each patient.

I have found that the doctors at this location are intelligent and educated in a wide realm of topics which makes the experience much richer, especially when it is your first child!

Quick to get patients a visit when needed and we usually don’t wait more than 5-10 min to be seen.
Jordan McKinney - Jan 31, 2022
We are very happy and pleased to have found this place for our girls. We have recently moved from another state and the transition to this office was very smooth.

The staff was so helpful in making sure that the needed records for our girls were obtained from our prior provider. Our girls also loved the visit with NP Janil.

Would highly recommend this office.
K. Abegail Faleiros - March 28, 2022
We had our first newborn appointment at the practice and felt so comfortable. Monica was very easy to talk to and eased some of our little worries as first time parents.

She was patient, sweet, and very knowledgeable!

We left our appointment feeling very secure and with the practice that we chose!
Jenna Miles - April 11, 2022
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