Every first-time mom must know over the counter medicines that are safe for babies and can be given in case of emergency.
The little one who has recently arrived is susceptible to infections and illnesses more than others. For infants until the age of four months, it is better to give them prescription medicine only after showing to a doctor. What one can do is ask the child’s doctor to prescribe medicines to be given in case of emergency and stack them at home accordingly.
For infants above four months of age, you can keep some frequently prescribed medicines which are available over the counter and you can give these to them according to Doc’s prescriptions or according to the dosage written on the packages.
Do remember these tips whenever giving medicine to children:
- Read instructions on the label carefully.
- Try giving the dose according to the body weight of the child.
- Please be particular about using the spoons/cups provided with the medicine to give dosage to the child. Do not use any other measuring tools and never exceed the recommended dosage.
Usually, when they were younger, my kids would fall ill late in the night, a time when their doctor would not be approachable. I had stacked some children’s medicines to deal with such emergencies so that they could be calmed in the night, only to be taken to the doctor in the morning.
Here is a list of common ailments in infants and toddlers and the medicines that can be safely given to them until your doctor sees them. But please make sure new momma that you get this list verified by your child’s doctor before leaving for home after delivery and make changes according to his advice.
Fever: if the fever strikes at an odd time and goes high, the first thing to do is to get the child in light clothing, allowing air to cool the body. Next, give them a dosage of fever medicine according to their age. One can keep Calpol, Brufen or Arenac in syrup form to meet with a fever emergency.
Temperature Strips/ Thermometer: this is a must. Temperature strips are best for infants and give correct temperature without much hassle. A child-safe thermometer can be also be used under the armpit of the baby.
Cough & Cold: if coughing becomes bad during the night one can give a recommended dosage of Coferb Syrup to toddlers and older. For infants and toddlers, Coferb drops can be used to provide relief. There are other cough medicines too which deal with bronchial infections and can be given only after doctors advice.
To relieve blocked nose and congestion use Saline Drops.
Diarrhea: in case of vomiting and lose motions, keep ORS Paditral sachets handy. Prepare and administer according to the directions on the package. Pedialyte water is also a good option to replenish the dehydrated child.
Rash: this is one of the most common ailments among infants and toddlers. They can get affected by a rash in the nappy area, in other parts of the body due to hot weather conditions or upon contact with a carrier of the infection. Any skin application ointment which is zinc oxide based is good for treating such infections in babies and children. Ask your doctor to recommend a brand for your child. Also, stack a bottle of Calamine Lotion to sooth off that itch from the rash which makes your baby restless.
Cuts/Bacterial Infections: as a first aid one can use Polyfax to treat cuts and infections. But the doctor must be consulted as soon as possible on to make sure the cuts do not catch any infections.
Stomach Ache: Time-tested Gripe Water is the best remedy for minor stomach ailments in babies and infants.
You can also add bandage strips to your child’s medicine box as well as droppers and needleless syringes for giving medicine. Please note no medicine should be given to children below two years of age before consulting their doctor. So when you go about storing the emergency medicines for your baby do consult his doctor for the right brand and dosage.