Kids and medicines - frequently asked questions

What should I do if I think I’ve given too much medicine?

Immediately phone a doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26) for advice, or go to the accident and emergency department at your nearest hospital. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning, as urgent medical attention may be required.

What if I’m unsure about which medicine to give?

Check with a doctor, nurse or pharmacist. If you are unable to contact a doctor or pharmacist, you can call Medicines Line for information on 1300 633 424 (1300 MEDICINE) from anywhere in Australia. This service is available Monday to Friday 9am-5pm EST except NSW public holidays. Your call will be answered by healthdirect Australia (except Queensland and Victoria).

Note: Medicines Line is not an emergency service and does not replace advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

How do I make my home medicinewise for kids?

Here are 5 things to have in a medicinewise home:

  1. A high shelf (at least 1.5m or 4’6” above floor level) to store medicines out of reach and sight of children (preferably in a child-proof cupboard). Simply putting them in a high place where they can be seen isn’t enough.
  2. Scales to regularly weigh your child — digital bathroom scales are fine.
  3. An oral syringe for accurately measuring medicines, or the device that comes with the medicine (e.g. a dropper). Check the markings on the oral syringe to make sure it can measure the right dose.
  4. A written record of all the child’s medicines — including prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Take it with you when you visit the doctor, pharmacist or nurse, when you go on holidays or when a child goes to hospital.
  5. A list of emergency contact numbers in case you think you’ve given too much medicine — include your doctor and the Poisons Information Centre (13 11 26).

For more information