Unless you or your child has had an obvious reaction to a medication, most parents rarely read the full warning blurb on the bottles and boxes of their children's medication. But even if they did read them, it wouldn't inform them very well of all the known side effects of that drug, as most labels refer you to their website for the complete list. Often the website list is also incomplete, and you are asked to send a request by mail to receive a booklet with all of the legal discolsure information.
Most people trust that if a drug is on the shelf or prescribed by their doctor, it must be safe, so they don't question it too much. But many side effects look just like the symptoms of a child who doesn't feel well, like fussiness, upset tummy, trouble sleeping, aggression, constipation, diarrhea, moodiness, irritability, and crying such as due to a headache, which a young child can't express verbally. Many side effects are usually disregarded for that very reason, and so parents use the medication over and over with no idea of the adverse reaction their child is having to it.
The best way to minimize the risk of side effects is to be very conservative when administering medications to a child. Always read labels, websites and literature and carefully monitor your child after administering a dose, checking for reactions and keeping a log. Never hesitate to contact your health care professional if you suspect your child is experiencing a side effect. Educate yourself on natural and herbal remedies that are safer and more gentle for children with minor illnesses. Try using a certified and licensed Holistic Practitioner or Naturopath. Of course you should always check with your doctor before giving your child any herb or substance that they have never had before.
Aside from food dyes like Red 40 which cause a whole host of behavior and health problems all by themselves, and are commonly found in children's medication...