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Be Careful With Kids' Meds

Pamphlet offers safety advice for parents

FRIDAY, March 28, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- If you want to be sure you're playing it safe when you give medicines to your children, there's a pamphlet that can offer you some advice.

The pamphlet is called "Got a Sick Kid? Don't Guess. Read the Label." It was created by the Council on Family Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It's available in English and Spanish.

There are 10 tips to help parents and caregivers make sure they're giving children the right medicine and the right amount. The pamphlet also includes the latest U.S. childhood immunization schedule to remind parents of current vaccination recommendations.

"Don't ever guess on the amount of medicine you give to a child," FDA Commissioner Dr. Mark B. McClellan says in a news release.

"Always read and follow the dosage directions and warnings on over-the-counter medicine labels and review prescription medicine package inserts. The directions on over-the-counter medicine labels tell you how much medicine to give your child, how often it should be given, and when to check with a doctor before giving it to your child"If the label says not to give to children under a certain age or weight, don't do it. Ask your doctor," McClellan adds.

More information

Here's where you can view the pamphlet online. You can also get single copies of the pamphlet by phoning toll-free 1-888-8PUEBLO and requesting Dept. #79 or by writing the Federal Citizen Information Center, Dept. #79, Pueblo, Colo., 81009.

SOURCE: Council on Family Health, news release, March 2003
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