USES: Aspirin is known as a salicylate and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works by blocking a certain natural substance in your body to reduce pain and swelling. Consult your doctor before giving this drug to a child younger than 12 years. It is very important to keep this and all medication out of the reach of children. Aspirin is a common cause of poisoning in children. (See also Overdose section.) Your doctor may direct you to take a low dose of aspirin to prevent blood clots. This effect reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have recently had surgery on clogged arteries (such as bypass surgery, carotid endarterectomy, coronary stent), your doctor may direct you to use aspirin in low doses as a "blood thinner" to prevent blood clots. Aspirin prevents blood clots by stopping certain blood cells (platelets) from clumping together.