A few months ago I read an article about a preteen who accidentally overdosed on an over the counter medicine and the harm it did to her health. While I knew it was possible, it had never even occurred to me how easy it was to make such a detrimental mistake.
Educating our kids, and ourselves, on the importance of safety when taking medication is incredibly important. Right now, it’s cold and flu season, and folks are nervous about COVID-19. These challenges increase the possibility of folks taking more than the maximum dosage of OTC medicine increases up to 24%.
I had a talk with my tween
When I shared the article about the preteen’s accidental overdosing with my own tween, I shared a few reminders with her about medication.
The first reminder was to always asking an adult before taking any medication. Then, together, we’ll do the following:
1. Read the label and follow the instructions before taking any.
2. Know whether the medication contains acetaminophen.
3. Take only one medication at a time that has acetaminophen in it.
4. Talk to your healthcare provider about dosing, and have them answer any questions you have about medicines that contain acetaminophen.
Everybody knows about acetaminophen. It’s one of the most common drug ingredients in medication in the U.S. While acetaminophen is safe and effective for treating fever and pain, it can lead to liver damage if taken more than directed.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) set a max daily dose of 4,000 mg of acetaminophen in a 24 hr. period.
In order to avoid taking too much acetaminophen, the Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition (AAC) urges Americans to check medicine labels so they don’t double up.
Making Sure Your Child Doesn’t Double Up On Medication
The one thing that every parent can do to make sure they don’t double up on acetaminophen is to use the dosing device that comes with the medicine. It’s just the safest way to give your child medication.
And as much as you want to give your tween independence, administering medication isn’t the right time to do it. Stay observant, read labels, and make sure you know your dose.
Learn more about acetaminophen and the correct dosage for all ages at Know Your Dose.