Tips for using medicine safely

June 2013… Medicines can treat all kinds of health problems but it’s important to use them safely. Here are some important safety reminders and resources that will help protect you and others around you.

  • Talk to an adult. Children should always talk to an adult or guardian before taking any medicine, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Be sure to read the “Drug Facts” label each time before you use a medicine. The FDA has a guide for students with many additional useful tips about medicine safety: Understanding Over-the-Counter Medicines [PDF]
  • Don’t share your medicines with others.  A medicine that is right for you may not be right for another person. Taking someone else’s medicine could make you sick. Learn more about medicines and using them safely at KidsHealth.org: What Medicines Are And What They Do
  • Know what you’re taking. Only put things in your mouth when you are sure you know what they are. It might look good to eat but it could make you sick. If you are not sure whether it is safe to eat, ask an adult. Watch this Danger Ranger public service video for other medicine safety tips: Danger Rangers: Medicine Safety
  • Take the correct amount. Ordinary kitchen spoons come in different sizes. Using them to measure liquid medicine can give you the wrong amount of medicine. Use the measuring spoon or cup that comes with the medicine. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices has more information about measuring: Tips for measuring liquid medicines safely.

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