An Interview with Chandra Wilson about the Treat with Care Campaign

May 8, 2009

I was recently offered an exciting opportunity to be part of a mom blogger interview with Chandra Wilson, the very talented actor who plays Dr. Bailey on the hit television drama, Grey’s Anatomy.  Chandra Wilson is the spokesperson for the Treat with Care Campaign. She is working with the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) to advocate for the safe use of children’s over the counter medication (OTCs). While initially slightly star struck during the interview, I quickly realized that Chandra and I had something in common. We are both mothers and we both care very much about our children’s safety around over the counter medications.

First, I should explain that the Consumer Healthcare Products Association is a non-profit, consumer focused association supported by the makers of many over the counter medications. Recently, the USFDA changed its OTC recommendations and now suggests they only be used for children 4 and older (as opposed to previous labels recommending use for ages 2 and older). The Treat with Care Campaign is the CHPA’s initiative to encourage the safe use of children’s OTCs.

Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of the interview. Chandra greeted us all warmly and was clearly happy to speak with us. She spoke to us not as the character she plays on Grey's, but as just another concerned mom. Each of us took turns asking questions about her use of OTCs and how we should be more cautious. She suggested the following tips while using OTCs.

  • Read labels and never give your child more than the recommended dose
  • Store medications out of reach AND out of sight of your children. The flavors can be enticing, so she even turns the labels with the cute grapes inward
  • Never use an OTC for children younger than the recommended age of four or under (unless prescribed otherwise by a doctor)
  • Never use adult medications for children
  • Never use any medication for the purpose of making your child sleepy

Chandra also explained that OTC medications are dangerous when parents misuse them or children have taken them on their own and over-dosed. In fact, the FDA found this was occurring more often with children under the age of 4, hence the changes on labels. She told us that this campaign is simply just a good reminder to everyone about how we should administer OTCs - they are safe if they are used correctly and per the USFDA’s recommendations. 

Finally, I did ask Chandra how she balances such a busy work schedule with being a mother to three children.  She explained that she has a great support team in place. She has a day-to-day schedule and tries to stick with it. And while she has a plan in place, she always makes room for the human factor. Things can change daily and she tries to accommodate accordingly. Sometimes her kids might come to work or maybe one has to get to camp -- whatever it is, she just tries to make room for it just like we all do. 

It was a joy to speak with Chandra -- I appreciated how real and relaxed the conversation was. Because she is not a doctor, she is a working mom just like so many of us. We laughed about our kids, we swapped stories and we talked about how important it is to protect our children. At the end of our half hour, I was truly a little sad to say good-bye. 

Thanks to the CHPA for offering me the opportunity speak to Chandra about the Treat with Care Campaign. And if you want to see more from Chandra, click here to watch her Treat with Care PSA about over the counter medication safety.

From the Parents

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