Medication and illness

Two sides of one coin: Prevention and treatment

It's inevitable -- at some point, every child gets sick. But as a parent, you can help decrease the chances by following simple, everyday health and safety procedures -- such as hand washing -- to avoid illnesses like the flu, which can pose serious risks to very young children.

And when your child does get sick, by being informed and asking questions you can make sure that over-the-counter and prescription medications are used and stored properly so they help your child recover as swiftly as possible.

Read the label of all products you buy to verify that they are authorized for sale. Health products that have been authorized for sale by Health Canada have been assessed for safety, effectiveness and quality. These products will have an eight-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN), a Natural Product Number (NPN) or a Homeopathic Medicine Number (DIN-HM) on the label. Some natural health products may have an Exemption Number (EN), which indicates that the product is legally available for sale while Health Canada is in the process of reviewing their application for licensing.

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Medication and kids

Don't be afraid to ask! Almost every child is at some point prescribed medication by a doctor. As a parent, you're entitled to ask questions and be informed about proper handling, dispensing and storage of medications for your kids.

Medication and kids under six

In 2009, Health Canada had manufacturers re-label over-the-counter cold and cough medications containing certain active ingredients to indicate they are not to be used in children under age six.

Fighting the flu

Children touch many common surfaces and spend a lot of time in contact with the ground. Help them avoid illness by making hand washing a habit. Washing hands often is the single most effective way to stop the spread of contagious illnesses like the flu.

Safe Use of Medication for Children

Prescribed medications, as with any other health product, can have a variety of known side effects. Know what to expect from medications your doctor prescribes for your kids by asking questions up front. Here are some of the key things to know about medications.


Help your children maintain proper hygiene to stay healthy and prevent unnecessary illness by getting them into the habit of washing their hands frequently and properly. When should kids (and grownups) wash their hands?

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a term used to describe a group of developmental disorders that include Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), Rett's disorder and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD).

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