Making medicine safe for your child

Over 5,000 A&E visits a year are due to children overdosing on medicine and under-fives are especially at risk. What can you do to keep your child safe?

Help the medicine go down – safely!

One of the most important things you can do when it comes to childproofing your home is to make sure that medicines and health supplements are locked away where your child can’t get them. Think about it: if you were a toddler, wouldn’t that bright pink cough syrup look like juice, or those multi-coloured pills look just like sweets? Even your daily multivitamin can be potentially dangerous if your child swallows a handful.  Many children and their parents find out the hard way: according to SafeKids medicine overdoses result in over 5000 A&E visits a year, with children under five particularly vulnerable.

But locking medicines away (and reminding any relatives who may take care of your children to do the same) is only the start – you also need to be extra-careful when giving your child medicine. Doctors say it’s all too easy for parents to inadvertently overdose their children (US research suggests that 70% of parents have difficulty working out what dose to give their children); and that many parents aren’t aware that combining cold and cough remedies with pain relievers that contain the same active ingredient may also result in an overdose. Such an overdose can affect a young child’s heart rate and raise their blood pressure, putting them at risk of a stroke.

Tips to give medicine safely


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