Being more involved in your child’s healthcare

 

Keeping your child happy and healthy will most likely involve a visit to the doctor at some time in your child’s life.  You’re the person who has the full picture of your child’s health and medical issues, and you’re the one who will be administering medication the doctor has prescribed.  Your involvement is critical.

Being more involved with your child’s healthcare means being active in every step of the process.  It means communicating effectively with your child’s doctor, understanding the medication your child is taking and administering it correctly.  There are many things you can do to become more involved with the healthcare of your child:

 

Positive communication

 

A parent is the one who knows all the details of their child’s medical issues.  Sharing the full picture with your child’s doctors and specialists will ensure they understand the context fully.

 

Your child’s doctors and specialists need to know:

 

  •         Your child’s medical history

 

  •   All the medicines they are taking, including prescription, over-the-counter medicines, and dietary supplements.

 

  •         Your child’s accurate weight, so they can prescribe the right amount of medication for the child’s size.

 

  •         Any allergies/ reactions to medicines.

 

Here are some techniques you can use to improve communication with your child’s health professional:

 

  •         Encourage them to use simple, straightforward language that your child can understand

 

  •         Use active listening techniques, such as using your body language and gestures to convey attention

 

  •         Paraphrase back to the doctor what you have heard in your own words, and encourage your child to do the same.  Re-stating what they have heard helps people confirm what they have heard and absorb it more fully.

 

Check you understand your child’s prescription

 

A recent study found that a child receives the wrong medication or the wrong dosage every eight minutes in the United States. Take the quiz below – made by a team of medical solicitors called Patient Claim Line – and find out how often medication errors happen.

 

1

Make certain that you can read your child’s prescription before you walk out the doctor’s door, and you understand what the medicine is for.  When you’re at the pharmacy, confirm with the pharmacist that you’ve received the correct medicine and amount.

Ensure instructions for medication are clear

 

Some medicine instructions can be unclear, so ask if you’re unsure about the instructions on your child’s medicine labels.  For example, check whether ‘three times daily’ means ‘roughly three times during waking hours’ or whether evenly spaced dosage timing is critical.

Use the right measurement device

 

One of the most common reason for medication errors in children is errors in measurement. Children are likely to be given medication in liquid form, and liquids can be difficult to measure correctly. A household teaspoon should not be used, for example, because they often don’t hold a true teaspoon of liquid. An accurate measuring device will help you give the correct amount; ask your pharmacist to recommend the best one.

Get written information on possible side effects

 

Recent research has found that that written information about medicines can help people recognize problem side effects. Getting written information about the potential side effects of your child’s medicine will ensure that if a side effects do happen, you’ll know what to look for and what to do.  If your child experiences side effects, get in touch with your doctor and pharmacist straightaway.

Being more involved benefits your child

 

Research shows that parents and professionals working in partnership benefits children.  Establishing great communication with your child’s doctor and making sure you understand your child’s medication will help prevent medication errors and ultimately help your child get the best health outcomes.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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