When it comes to taking medicine, a surprising number of people aren't doing it right.
In one recent study, 70 percent of parents gave little kids the wrong dose of liquid medicine. Other research shows that two-thirds of adults don't finish their prescriptions, and plenty skip refills of important meds for ongoing conditions, including heart disease and diabetes. That can be as dangerous as forgetting to put your foot on the brake pedal at intersections. Here's how to get the right stuff at any age:
For kids: Measure liquid meds with an oral medication syringe. To use: Suck up the right dose, then gently squirt small amounts between your child's gum and cheek so she can swallow comfortably.
For teens: Talk about over-the-counter medicines. Most teens didn't know the basics about drugstore safety. Read labels and dosage directions with your teens and discuss the dangers of overdoing it: Specifically, liver damage from too much acetaminophen and gastrointestinal bleeding with too much ibuprofen or aspirin.
Adults: Refill by mail. Mail-order pharmacies are so convenient that at least one study has found that using them led to fewer gaps in medication usage.
Seniors: Ask your doctor to simplify your prescriptions. It's tough remembering when to take everything. See if she'll help you get on a regimen where you take most of your drugs at the same time of day, rather than scattered throughout the day.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.