Parents urged not to let kids mistake medicine for sweets
WITH pills for coughs, fever and flu now coming in different colours and flavours such as cherry and grape, it can be easy for children to mistake them for sweets.
Pharmacists here say they have seen cases of kids being taken to hospital after swallowing the tablets by accident and yesterday urged parents to keep them out of reach.
This was one of several key messages of a health fair organised by the Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore and North West Community Development Council.
Held at Woodlands Civic Centre, the society hopes that the annual fair Own Your Health @ North West will encourage everyone to take charge of their well-being.
Esther Ang, a pharmacist from KK Women's and Children's Hospital, said young children are curious and prone to taking medications by accident.
The society tried to show how medicine and sweets can easily be confused by displaying two similar gingerbread houses - one made of sweets, the other of pills.
"If placed in common areas, children might just help themselves to it because it looks or tastes like Ribena, for instance," said Ms Ang.
IT professional Jimmy Chong, who has three children aged between six and 12, was at the health fair yesterday.
He said he will be mindful of storing medicine properly.
"I was quite surprised to find that some of the medication looks like candy," said the 43-year-old. "As parents, we have to be responsible and not place the medication within their reach."
Apart from keeping pills and medicine out of easy reach, it is also important to ensure that the dosage is given correctly.
Ng Hong Yen, president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore, said: "The doses for children are actually very small so any inaccuracy in the volume of medicine being administered can actually result in a significant increase in the intended dose."
She added that parents should use syringes or medicine spoons instead of teaspoons to administer drugs to kids.