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  • The active ingredients
  • What the drug treats
  • How much to give your child
  • How often to give it
  • Potential drug interactions or side effects
  • When to call the doctor

Why should you read it if you’ve used the medicine before? Things may have changed since the last time. For example:
Your child may have gotten older or gained weight, so the right dosage may be different.
They may be taking another medicine that interacts with this one.


2. Look for the active ingredient
This is what makes the medicine work. You need to know what it is and what it does. It's usually different from the brand name. This means that two different medicines can have the same active ingredient. It’s important to be sure you are not giving your child two meds with the same active ingredient.
Different active ingredients can also do the same thing. For example, both acetaminophen and ibuprofen treat pain and fever. Knowing what makes a medicine work and what it does can also help you avoid giving your child two medicines that do the same thing.
You may want to switch from one to the other if it's not working correctly.

3. Give the right formula
Medicines to ease cold and flu symptoms have different formulas for children and adults. Never give an adult cold medicine to a child, not even in a smaller amount.

4. Always follow dosage instructions
Some use weight as a guide and others use age. Be sure to do what the package says. For those based on how old a child is, it’s a good idea to talk with your child’s doctor if your kid is very light or very heavy for her age. That way, you can be sure that you are giving the right amount of medicine.
Never give more than the recommended dose.

5. Only use the dosing tool that comes with the medication
Don't ever use a kitchen spoon or a dosing cup from a different medicine to give your child medication. Kitchen spoons can vary in size, as can dosing cups. So you can’t be sure that you’re giving the correct amount. If you misplace the dosing device that came with the medicine, talk to your pharmacist. Just be sure that the markings on your dosing device match the dose listed in the Drug Facts box on the medication label.

6. Know your measurement abbreviations
When reading the label, make sure you can tell the difference between a tablespoon (tbsp) and a teaspoon (tsp), as well as between a milligram (mg), milliliter (mL), and ounce (oz).

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Safely Treat Children's Fever and Pain
When your child gets sick, you want to make her feel better as soon as possible. To do so safely, it’s important to follow careful guidelines to ensure that they get the medication they need. 
If they're not used correctly, over-the-counter (OTC) children’s medicines can cause serious, even life-threatening complications. These tips can help you avoid that.

1. Read the Drug Facts label every time you use a medicine
It will tell you:​

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