In a recent survey conducted for NPS MedicineWise*, Australian adults were asked to choose, from a range of between 12 and 20 years, at what age they thought young people can safely start to dose and be responsible for their own medicines. 33% of the respondents indicated they thought 16 years and over was an appropriate age, while 17% said 14 years and over and 20% suggested 18 years and above.
Today Be Medicinewise Week is providing tips to teenagers and their families on the importance of being medicinewise as they grow up and become independent and responsible for their own health.
NPS MedicineWise Clinical Adviser Dr Jeannie Yoo says, 'Parents and carers should talk to their teenagers about medicines. Many children younger than 16 are already managing health conditions like asthma or a serious allergy, so medicinewise habits are important.
'Teenagers can start to take responsibility for their own health by learning how to ask questions about their medicines, reading labels and packaging carefully and understanding why it is important to always follow instructions from their doctor or pharmacist."
A great tip for parents and carers is to encourage teenagers to use technology to help manage their medicines as they start to grow up. The free MedicineList+ app stores dose details, sets alarms and records medicines and health information. The information stored in the app can be emailed to schools and also shared with health professionals during consultations or emergencies.
A fact sheet -You're never too cool to be medicinewise' has been developed for teenagers and their families this Be Medicinewise Week. It includes questions to ask about medicines, the importance of sticking to action plans, using technology to help remember doses, and who's who in your healthcare.
Find out more information about the campaign at www.nps.org.au/be-medicinewise-week.