Medicine SafetyHow to takevitamins and minerals safely. Your guide to knowing and understanding. More than 50% of thepoisonings reported to the Georgia Poison Center (GPC) involve medicines, bothprescription and over-the-counter. Iron is the leading cause of unintentionalchildhood poisonings reported to the AAPCC.Vitamins and minerals withiron must be kept out of the reach and sight of children and in child-resistantcontainers (CRCs).If you are pregnant orbreast feeding, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or the Poison Center beforetaking any medicine.Take your time when giving yourchild medicine. Make sure you give the right dose of medicine. To get the rightdose of medicine, carefully eye the dosage levels calibrated on the measuringtool.If your child throws up or spillssome medicine, do not give your child extra medicine. Instead call your doctoror pharmacist.Always check the label for the agerecommendations and directions before giving it to your child. Store medicineand vitamins in locked cabinets, out of the reach and sight of children.Always take the right dosage ofmedicine at the right time. Before you take or give medicine, read themedicine's label. Check the label for your name, directions for using themedicine, and the expiration date.Talk to your doctor or pharmacistbefore taking any medicine.Only take medicine that belongs toyou. Do not take or give medicine in the dark, without your glasses on, orwhile you are sleepy.Never take medicine in front of yourchild or give medicine to one child while another is watching.Although many people chooseto take supplements, usually you can get all the nutrients you need from abalanced diet.A varied and balanced dietshould include plenty of fruit, vegetables and starchy foods, and moderateamounts of dairy products, meat, fish and other sources of protein.Food Standards Agency ChairSir John Krebs said: ‘While in most cases you can get all the nutrients youneed from a balanced diet, many people choose to take supplements.
‘But taking some high dosesupplements over a long period of time could be harmful.‘We are using an extremelythorough independent expert review of the scientific evidence on the safety ofvitamins and minerals as the basis for new advice to help consumers makeinformed choices.‘In addition, the Board ofthe Food Standards Agency will be considering what further action we would wishthe supplements industry to take.’It is recommended thatcertain groups of people take supplements.Women thinking of having ababy and pregnant women until the 12th week of pregnancy should take a dailydietary supplement of 400 micrograms (0.4 mg) of folic acid as well as eatingplenty of folate-rich foods to help reduce the risk of neural tube defects.Women who lose a lot ofblood during their monthly period may need to take iron supplements, as advisedby their GP or a state registered dietician.If you are pregnant orbreastfeeding, you should take supplements containing 10 micrograms (0.01 mg)of vitamin D per day. Some older people may beadvised by their GP to take vitamin D.From the age of six monthsto five years, most young children will benefit from drops of vitamins A, C,and D. These are available free ofcharge from health clinics for children under five years of age in familiesreceiving income support or an income-based Job Seekers’ Allowance