LiveWell Louisiana

Medication Safety

Advice for new parents helps keep babies safe.
July 1st, 2017 by: Misty Milioto

Having a baby is an exciting time for new moms and dads. However, parents of babies 12 months and younger also can have some worries — especially when it comes to medications. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently released a consumer update that helps parents keep their babies safe. According to Donna L. Snyder, M.D., F.A.A.P., a pediatrician with the FDA’s Office of Pediatric Therapeutics, a good time to check in with your health care provider is during preventive “well-child” health visits.

Additionally, new parents should always get expert advice before giving medication to a baby since certain medications may not be appropriate for babies. It’s also important to store medications safely so that babies can’t get their inquisitive hands on anything they shouldn’t. Snyder notes that babies can start to crawl as early as five to six months. “But even if babies are under the age when you’d expect them to be able to get to your medication, get into the habit of putting medication out of their reach,” she says. Also be sure to read all storage instructions. “For instance, some antibiotics need to be kept in the refrigerator,” Snyder adds. “So you want to make sure you’re storing it according to the instructions.”

And don’t forget about your own medications! “If you are taking medications, it’s important to ask your health care provider whether it’s okay to breastfeed,” says Leyla Sahin, M.D., an obstetrician with the FDA’s Division of Pediatric and Maternal Health. You should also ask about any prescription or over-the-counter products, including supplements. Find more helpful advice from the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health.