Dear teacher

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Dear teacher,

You have opened a portal into the world of correct and purposeful use of medicines. Medicines education should be a consistent component of health education. The portal contains study modules for different age categories to help you in planning your teaching. We hope this portal is helpful to you when teaching medicine-related lessons to your pupils.

 

Why should children be taught the correct use of medicines?

Medicines are an essential part of health care. Everyone has to use medicine at some stage of their life, and sometimes the use of medicines may even be vital.

Already when children begin school, they often have attitudes and impressions of medicines and their use, based on everyday experiences. Children may have a reserved attitude towards medicines, and they may even have phobias against them. Indeed, children should learn that when medicines are used appropriately, you can benefit from them the most and avoid adverse effects.

 

Goals of medicines education

The main goals of medicines education are to teach children

  • to be sensible users of medicines;
  • to discuss medicine-related matters at the doctor's office and in the pharmacy; and
  • to seek information on medicines, if necessary, and assess the reliability of the information.

However, the goal is not to have the children learn to use medicines independently at a young age. It is important that the responsibility for medicine use is transferred to the child gradually, and that the child learns the basic rules of medicine use before being given responsibility for his or her own medicines. Neither is the goal to encourage children to use medicine for every little ailment; the portal also emphasises the importance of home remedies in the treatment of symptoms.

 

The most important messages of the Medicines Education Portal to children are:

  • Before beginning to use a medicine, find out the most appropriate treatment for your ailment.
  • Before beginning to use a medicine, find out how you must take your medicine.
  • Know your own illnesses and conditions (e.g. allergies) and their possible effects on medicine use.
  • Be active and ask away!