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Do’s and Don’ts of Giving OTC Medicine to your Child

Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines don’t require a doctor’s prescription, but this doesn’t mean they are harmless. If they are taken the wrong way, OTC medications can make your child feel worse and can even be harmful to your child’s health. Talk with your child’s pediatrician or visit AllKids Pediatric Urgent Care before giving your child any medicine, especially if they have never taken a specific medication before.

We’ve got a great list of Do’s and Don’ts to make sure you are giving your child OTC medicine safely.


  1. Read and understand all parts of the medicine’s drug facts label first

  2. Look for a medicine that will treat your child’s symptoms

  3. Use the correct measuring device

  4. Store medicines in their original packages to keep track of important labels and the expiration date

  5. Store all medicines up and away, out of sight, and out of reach of young children

  6. Keep all medicines in a cool, dry place

  7. Call the doctor if your child starts throwing up or gets a rash after taking a medicine


  1. Don’t give OTC cough and cold medicines to a child younger than 4 years old unless you get an OK from your doctor

  2. Don’t share adult OTC medicine with your child

  3. Don’t combine prescription medicines with OTC medications unless you get an okay from your doctor

  4. Don’t use an OTC after it has expired

  5. Don’t give an OTC medicine, especially cough or cold medicine, just to make your child sleepy. If your child has trouble sleeping, talk to your family doctor about other things you can do to help your child.

Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care and Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care

AllKids Urgent Care is Arizona’s best kids-only urgent care and we believe that all kids deserve the best!  We are here for you, your children, and your family when you need us – both our Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care and our Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care are open every day, from noon to 10 pm. No appointment is necessary, just stop in and start your child on the road back to health.

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