It's Sunday night, and your child has a cough. Should you run to the pharmacy and grab a bottle of cough syrup?

The US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Drug Evaluation and Research has some sound advice for parents who are trying to help ease their child's symptoms without making a trip to the doctor...

Don't estimate the dose based on your child's size. Read the label and follow all directions carefully.

Follow any age limits on the label.

Some over-the-counter (OTC) products come in different strengths. Make sure you know what strength you are using.

Know the difference between TBSP (tablespoon) and TSP (teaspoon). They are very different doses.

Be careful about following dose instructions. If the label says two teaspoons, it's best to use a measuring spoon or a dosing cup marked in teaspoons, not a common kitchen spoon.

Don't play doctor. When in doubt, call your physician.

Want to Keep Reading?

Continue reading with a Health Confidential membership.

Sign up now Already have an account? Sign in