Parents sometimes exhibit the habit of self-medication for the diseases of their children. The attitude of the parents in this matter greatly influences the success of providing rational drug use for children. In this study, we aimed to investigate parental self-medication. In this descriptive study, 500 parents, who had visited the outpatient and emergency services of a pediatric department in a teaching and research hospital in İstanbul for the treatment of their children, were interviewed face to face. The answers of the parents to the questionnaires, who had and had not practiced self-medication, were compared. It was found that self-medication had been practiced by 46.3% of the parents and that their children had been given an average of 1.5±0.8 drugs, the majority of which were analgesics (56.7%), respiratory system drugs (20.5%) and antibiotics (12.5%). There were no statistically significant differences between the parents who had and had not practiced self-medication related to the education, age, profession, monthly income, and the presence of social security of the parents and the age groups of the children. The parents who had practiced self-medication were found to have used supportive medical products more frequently (37.7% vs 13.4%) and to have not taken their children to regular medical checkup (81% vs 71.4%) (p<0.05). Approximately half of the parents have practiced self-medication. Majority of the self-medicated drugs have been analgesics, respiratory system drugs and antibiotics. Rational drug use education to parents may decrease the frequency of self-medication.