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Which medicines are safe and effective for children? Professor's new book has the answers.

November 14, 2017

A new book by Drake University professor Edward Bell answers parents’ most common questions about the safety and effectiveness of medicines for children.

When used correctly, over-the-counter and prescription medicines can help sick children feel better. But if misused, they can be dangerous—even fatal. “Children’s Medicines: What Every Parent, Grandparent, and Teacher Needs to Know” (Johns Hopkins University Press, Oct. 2017) helps parents and caretakers understand whether, when, and what medications to give to infants, children, and teenagers.

Bell, a professor of pharmacy practice at Drake, draws on the latest scientific information, combined with his more than 30 years of expertise as a pediatric pharmacist and teacher, for the 160-page book. A few of the many popular topics discussed within the book include:

  • A discussion of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines, which recent studies have shown to be dangerous (and even potentially fatal) for young children, and Bell says are unnecessary for children younger than 12.
  • An explanation of why some adult medications are not safe for children
  • Descriptions of medicine for treating fever and common illnesses
  • Practical tips on measuring, flavoring, and administering medicines
  • Directions for giving medicine in the mouth, nose, ear, and eye
  • Advice for keeping children of all ages safe around medications

Phillip Brunell, emeritus professor of pediatrics at the University of California, Los Angeles, called the book “an invaluable, well-referenced, and reliable guide for any family that has—or is expecting to have—children… a must for every family."