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Children and medicines - are they putting themselves at risk?

publication date: Nov 7, 2007
As many as 42 per cent of children and young people do not follow medical advice when using medicines, putting themselves seriously at risk of further health problems.

Teenagers in particular are ignoring directions about how to properly use medicines because of social concerns. This can lead to dangerous practices such as:
  • neglecting diabetic injections for fear of putting on weight; or
  • leaving inhalers at home because they are embarrassed to use them in front of their friends.

One in five school children is taking medicines in any one week so it is crucial that they are made aware about their safe and effective use. 

To this end, Ask About Medicines Week kicks off a year of activities around the country that will focus on kids asking about medicines as they grow up.

Health professionals will use a new Lesson Pack in schools produced by Ask About Medicines with the support of the National Pharmacy Association and the Department of Health, which contains lesson plans and complements the national curriculum, where at present medicines are only covered briefly.

Also being launched is the My Medicine Guide, a one page sheet that parents and children can complete together to help children understand more about the medicine they have been given.

To download My Medicine Guide click here