Ask Dr. Gigi

Mighty Blog

Kids and over-the-counter medication

Dr. Gigi Chawla on WCCO Mid-Morning
Dr. Gigi Chawla (right) joins WCCO “Mid-Morning” hosts Kylie Bearse and Jason DeRusha to talk about over-the-counter medication.

Reaching for an over-the-counter medication for a headache or other pain is common, but when is going that route best for a child? Gigi Chawla, MD, senior medical director of primary care at Children’s Minnesota, joined WCCO Mid-Morning hosts Kylie Bearse and Jason DeRusha to share advice on using over-the-counter medication for kids [WATCH].

Common over-the-counter medication

  • Multivitamins
  • Cold medicine
  • Allergy medicine
  • Treatment for constipation

Good reminders

  • Many over-the-counter products are dosed by age, not weight. Try to dose by weight for giving a more accurate amount to a child.
  • Some multivitamins may be tasty, but they can have unpleasant results if taken in excess. To avoid overdosing, a multivitamin only should be taken once a day.
  • Be careful when giving your child anything that contains iron as it can be dangerous.
  • Any type of cold medicine generally isn’t recommended for kids.

When to go to pediatrician

If your child hasn’t been feeling well for more than two to three days, contact your health care provider.


View hours, maps, directions and more for each Children’s Minnesota clinic.