How to give medicine to a child

How to give medicine to a child

It may seem simple, but most of us fail to give medicine to our children properly. We either fail to read directions, use the wrong equipment, or give the wrong dosages. Here are some ways you can correct yourself and prevent yourself from underdosing or overdosing your child.

First, read the directions. This may seem obvious but most of us fail to do this. Look for the following when reading directions:

  • How much and how often am I supposed to give this to my child? Each medication may have a different dosage. Don’t assume that it is the same for all medications.
  • When am I supposed to give this to my child? Before or after meals? Before or after sleep?
  • What other medications will this interfere or interact with? Certain medications may interfere with certain types of food and drinks preventing the medicine from being absorbed properly.
  • Is this safe for my child? Is the medication made for children my child’s age? Certain medications are designed for children over or under the age of twelve. Look closely and see if it is appropriate for your child.
  • What do you do when you miss a dose? Some medications will allow you to double the dose if you miss one, others advise strongly against it. Be careful.
  • What are the side effects of this medication? Certain medications may make your child sleepy or drowsy. It is important that you know this ahead of time.

Keep all these questions in mind while reading. After reading the directions, follow the direction and ensure that you are accurate. If the directions are not elaborate asks your pharmacist. He or she is trained to help you with these questions.

Use the measuring devices that come with the medications. If not available, don’t use silverware as a substitute and don’t guess. Only use a device that came with the medication, i.e. doesn’t use that device for another brand or type of medication.

Also, silverware comes in many different sizes and is often not based upon measuring spoons; use a measuring spoon. You can also purchase syringes made for dispensing to children. These often have easy to read numbers and or easy to use. When using droppers, make sure you bring the dropper to eye level to make sure the dosage is accurate.

Also remember when using the measuring devices; make sure you give the right dosage. It is easy to mistake 2 teaspoons for 2 tablespoons if you are not paying attention. When using the devices also remember to wash out between each use, this devices are not immune to bacteria.

Pills may be a different story from liquid medications. The problem with pills is convincing your child to swallow. How can you convince him or her to swallow pills? Pills are not known for their taste appeal. If your child has a problem swallowing, try to switch to a chewable form. Try buying flavored medications whenever possible. This will stop your children from running from you. If there is no flavored alternative.

Try crushing his or her medication and putting it in food (that your child enjoys). Make sure he or she eats all of to avoid underdosing. Convince him or her to drink water afterward. The medicine may give the food an after taste, he or she may decide to spit it out if they don’t drink something directly after.

Also, remember to keep these medications out of reach. These medications are often flavored to appeal to children. Your child may accidentally overdose himself or herself because they think its candy.


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