Skip to Content
Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Quick Tips: Giving Over-the-Counter Medicines to Children
(OTC) medicines are drugs you can buy without a doctor's prescription. This
doesn't mean that OTC medicines are harmless. Like prescription medicines, OTCs
can be very dangerous for children if not taken the right way.
sure to read the package instructions on these medicines carefully. Talk to
your doctor or pharmacist before giving OTC medicines to young children.
Here are some safety tips for parents and other caregivers:
Studies show that over-the-counter cough and cold medicines
don't work very well. Some of these medicines can cause problems if used too
much. These medicines don't cure the cold or cough. And they don't help your
child get better faster.
Use these medicines exactly as your doctor
says, and keep them out of children's reach.
Other Works Consulted
Sullivan JE, et al. (2011). Clinical report: Fever and antipyretic use in children. Pediatrics, 127(3): 580–587. Also available online: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/127/3/580.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerSusan C. Kim, MD - PediatricsMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Current as ofApril 5, 2016
Current as of:
April 5, 2016
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Send Us Your Feedback
North Kansas City Hospital