Use care when giving any medicine to an infant or a child. Even over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that you buy are serious medicines. The following is advice for giving OTC medicine to your child, from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the makers of OTC medicines:

  1. Always read and follow the Drug Facts label on your OTC medicine.
  2. Know the “active ingredient” in your child’s medicine. – The stuff that makes the medicine work.
  3. Give the right medicine, in the right amount, to your child.
  4. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse to find out what mixes well and what doesn’t.
  5. Use the dosing tool that comes with the medicine, such as a dropper or a dosing cup.
  6. Know the difference between a tablespoon (tbsp.) and a teaspoon (tsp.)
  7. Know your child’s weight.
  8. Prevent a poison emergency by always using a child-resistant cap.
  9. Store all medicines in a safe place.
  10. Check the medicine three times. First, check the outside packaging for such things as cuts, slices, or tears. Second, once you are at home, check the label on the inside package to be sure you have the right medicine. Make sure the lid and seal are not broken. Third, check the color, shape, size, and smell of the medicine. If you notice anything different or unusual, talk to a pharmacist or another healthcare professional.