Tips for Parents: Managing Medications at Home


Most people keep aspirin or other pain relievers on hand at home. But five simple products can upgrade your home’s over-the-counter medicine arsenal – and help you avoid an unexpected run to the drugstore when your child doesn’t feel well.

Here is a list of over-the-counter products that pediatric pharmacist Holly Hoffmaster, PharmD, BCPS, suggests you stock at home:

Parents should know that it is very important to discuss the use of any medications with your child’s pediatrician ahead of time because some medications that are safe for adults are inappropriate to treat young children, Dr. Hoffmaster says.

Always look for appropriate doses for children and calculate the amount based on your child’s weight. If you have questions about medications, be sure to ask your pharmacist.

Medicine cabinets are not for medicines

Despite their name, medicine cabinets are not a good place to store medicines.

Surprised? “It’s a common mistake,” Dr. Hoffmaster says. 

“Usually we think to put medicines in the bathroom, but it is not ideal because hot showers cause humidity that can affect the stability of medicine,” she says. “People also should not leave medications in the car because medications are not stable in extremely hot or cold temperatures.”

Here are Dr. Hoffmaster’s recommendations for medicine storage:

Dr. Hoffmaster suggests keeping medicine in high kitchen cabinets that maintain a cool temperature and are inaccessible to youngsters.