|Things New Parents Should Know #28 - Medication
||[Feb. 21st, 2011|06:38 pm]
Been ages since I posted up one of these, but dealing with a teething MaybeZoe reminded me of a big one - medication. Could be an interesting post as I suspect it may open a hornet's nest with some people.
There is a tendency these days for people to over medicate. As soon as there is a small issue, people will break out whatever and give the kid the biggest dose possible. Many will follow it up at the required intervals with more full doses, whether they are needed or not.
Now I'm talking about off the shelf stuff like Infant Panadol, not something prescribed by a Doctor. Prescription meds should always have the instructions followed.
With the stuff you can buy in a chemist or supermarket, on the packet or bottle it'll have recommended doses for your child's age/weight range, and it'll say not to give more than x number of doses a day.
The thing we've found with Lex, and are now finding with MaybeZoe, is that the majority of the time a half dose is enough to do the job. This has certain advantages.
- The biggest is, that if the majority of the time your child is fine with a half dose, then they aren't getting more chemicals and such shoved into their system than they need.
- You don't use as much. That stuff is expensive.
- Your child learns to cope with small levels of discomfort. To some people that may sound cruel, but I personally think it's crueller to have them totally reliant on being medicated for every little thing.
- If the half dose is doing the job, but your child seems to occasionally need some relief earlier than the interval noted on the medication, you can actually give it to them, because those intervals are based on the child being given a full dose. The only thing is, it's very important to keep track of how much your child has had, and when, so you don't get confused and end up giving them too much.
I'm not saying you ignore obvious discomfort and only give a half dose. At the moment, with MaybeZoe's teething, she copes fine with a half dose during the day, but if she wakes up during the night, we've found she fairly consistently needs a full dose, so that's what we give her.
And we only give medication when it's needed. Quite often if MaybeZoe is having a bad morning with her teeth, I'll try Bonjela, and if that doesn't deal with it, I'll give her a half dose of Infant Panadol. If she seems to be in any noticeable discomfort later in the day I'll give her more. But most days, she won't need another until the evening, if then.
For the record, our kids are totally immunised. We're not anti-medicine or anything silly like that, we're just anti-overkill.