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Medication Safety for Children and Seniors

By Han Hwe Sihono | Published Tuesday 05 December 2023

Medication safety is a paramount concern when it comes to the health and well-being of our loved ones, especially for children and seniors. Ensuring that medications are administered correctly and stored safely is crucial to prevent accidents and complications. In this article, we will explore essential tips and guidance from pharmacists on how to keep your children and seniors safe when it comes to their medications.

Importance of Medication Safety

Medications are designed to improve health and manage various medical conditions, but when not used properly, they can pose risks. For children and seniors, the stakes are even higher due to differences in their physiological and cognitive abilities. Here's why medication safety is vital for these age groups:


  1. Dosage Precision: Children require precise dosages based on their weight and age. Even a slight miscalculation can lead to underdosing or overdosing, which can be harmful.

  2. Taste and Form: Children might resist taking medications due to unpleasant tastes or forms. Pharmacists can suggest alternatives or ways to make medications more palatable.

  3. Accidental Ingestion: Children are curious by nature and might accidentally ingest medications left within their reach. Proper storage is essential to prevent this.


  1. Polypharmacy: Seniors often take multiple medications. Managing them and avoiding drug interactions is a challenge that pharmacists can assist with.

  2. Cognitive Decline: Seniors with cognitive issues may forget to take their medications or become confused about their regimen. Pharmacists can offer solutions to help with adherence.

  3. Chronic Conditions: Seniors are more likely to have chronic health conditions that require ongoing medication. Proper management is crucial to maintaining their health.

Pharmacy's Role in Medication Safety

Pharmacists play a vital role in ensuring medication safety for both children and seniors. They provide expertise in medication management, dosage adjustment, and interactions. Here are some ways in which pharmacists can assist:

  1. Proper Dosage: Pharmacists can calculate and prepare the correct dosage for children and seniors, ensuring that the medication is safe and effective.

  2. Medication Reviews: For seniors, pharmacists can conduct medication reviews to identify potential drug interactions and provide recommendations to physicians.

  3. Education: Pharmacists can educate caregivers and seniors on the importance of medication adherence and proper administration.

  4. Childproof Packaging: Pharmacists can recommend childproof packaging for medications to prevent accidental ingestion by children.

Tips for Medication Safety

For parents and caregivers of children and seniors, here are some practical tips to enhance medication safety:

  1. Keep Medications Out of Reach: Store medications in a high, locked cabinet to prevent access by children.

  2. Use Dosage Aids: For seniors, consider pill organizers to help them manage their medications correctly.

  3. Follow Label Instructions: Read and follow medication labels carefully, and ask the pharmacist for clarification if needed.

  4. Regular Medication Reviews: Schedule regular medication reviews with a pharmacist to assess the effectiveness and safety of the regimen.

  5. Dispose of Unused Medications: Safely dispose of expired or unused medications to prevent accidental ingestion.

In conclusion, medication safety is a shared responsibility between caregivers, seniors, and pharmacists. By understanding the unique needs and risks associated with children and seniors, and by actively involving pharmacists in medication management, we can ensure the well-being of our loved ones and promote their health. Remember, your local pharmacy is a valuable resource for medication safety information and guidance.