How do parents know which pain medications (prescription and over the counter) are safe and effective for children?
Parents should be advised that most pain medications have not been specifically evaluated and approved for use in children. Unfortunately sharing of prescription analgesics and diversion of opioids has increased to the point of being considered a national epidemic. For children’s safety, all over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications should be secured and controlled. Analgesics and other medications can be deadly if taken in a manner other than as prescribed or by someone other than who they were prescribed. Therefore analgesics should be kept in locked storage containers or cabinets. The same medications should be disposed of as soon as they are no longer indicated for the reason prescribed. In other words, children and parents should be taught not to share analgesics or store analgesics for future use even if they anticipate needing the medication again for similar pain during the year.