Medicines Not for Children

What to Avoid


Aspirin If used to treat viral symptoms, aspirin can cause Reyes’s syndrome, a potentially fatal liver disease. Use acetaminophen or ibuprofen instead.

Can cause serious side effects, such as sedation and breathing problems. Also, you don’t want to stop the body’s process of getting rid of toxins. Instead, replace lost fluids with electrolyte solutions.

Laxatives Must be used under a doctor’s supervision. More serious causes of constipation must first be considered. Dietary changes, such as prune juice or less milk, often help.

Often have unpredictable side effects in children. Also, some, like Alka-Seltzer and Pepto-Bismol, contain aspirin. Counteract nausea and replace lost fluids with small, frequent sips of an electrolyte solution.

While OK for older kids, the medicines can cause unpredictable side effects in young children. Also, stopping a cough can cause secretions to build up in the chest.

Nose Drops
Can cause jitters, increase blood pressure and make your child even more congested in the long run. Unmedicated saline (salt water) nose drops will help thin mucus and are fine to use.

Throat Sprays
Numbing the throat can decrease the gag reflex, causing young children to choke.

Insect Repellant Do NOT use in babies under 2 months old. For older children use a product containing a low concentration of DEET and apply SMALL amounts to exposed areas only (dress child in light-weight long sleeve clothing in evening). Be sure to wash off when you return inside.

Prescription medications NEVER give your child someone else’s medicine.
ALWAYS talk to your provider before starting any antibiotic.