Reye’s Syndrome doesn’t make news headlines anymore like it use to in the 1970’s and 1980’s. That doesn’t mean it has gone away, though. Thousands of children’s lives are spared from Reye’s today due to constant efforts to educate parents and caregivers about the dangers of aspirin-containing products and children.
However, here at the Foundation, the phones still ring, and email comes in, from frantic parents who discover that a grandparent, a babysitter, or other caregiver has given their child aspirin. Some times, the calls are from young parents who gave their child an aspirin product and then read the label warning them not to.
It’s just a normal progression in life; people forget. Especially the older we get. The Reye’s epidemic of the 70’s and 80’s were 30 to 40 years ago. It’s easy for grandparents to forget those terrifying times. And, today, with the lowered incidence of Reye’s Syndrome, doctors don’t see cases, and Reye’s has quietly slipped out of mind. Doctors tell parents not to give a child aspirin, but does not warn about other aspirin-containing medications like Pepto-Bismol, a product containing bismuth-subsalicylate, also known to trigger Reye’s Syndrome in children.
To make it easier on parents, we have created a Reye’s Syndrome caregiver / babysitter handout you can download and give to anyone who is going to be with your child while you are away.
Tuck several copies into your diaper bag, or purse, keep copies in your car, download it to your phone, store it in your email, or in your Cloud Box, anywhere you can access it, print it, or email it to someone who will be providing care for your child.
Tack it to your refrigerator, on the bathroom mirror, at your baby’s changing station, on the door to your medicine cabinet, next to your emergency numbers, anywhere your caregiver will notice it, and read it. Before you leave, point it out, and have them read it over so they understand the seriousness of the issue.
Not only will you be protecting your own child in doing this, you will educate any child under the age of 19 who may be babysitting for you, that they too, are susceptible to Reye’s and should not be taking these products.
Another by-product of using this for any caregiver, is you alleviate any guilt or hard feelings with family and relatives who may have forgotten about Reye’s and who innocently thought they were doing the child some good by giving him an aspirin.
Guilt is a very difficult, and a huge issue for grandparents to live with – don’t put them through it – just give them a copy of this handout.
Download your copy, and send copies to other parents, or let them know where to get a copy.
- What is Reye’s Syndrome
- Other Names for Aspirin
- Aspirin Containing Products
- Aspirin Lists – (Lists of RX and OTC Products that Do and Do Not contain aspirin)
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