At some point, every child will likely need to take some kind of medication, whether they need relief for allergies, or as a way to bring down a fever. Administering medication to your child is a big responsibility and as a parent, you want to make sure you get it right, from proper dosage to ensuring they take it safely in full.
Ask for Information
When your doctor prescribes a new medication, make sure you ask the pharmacist for a medication information sheet when you pick up the prescription. This sheet will provide the details you need to successfully administer the medication to your child, including dosing information based on weight, as well as any potential side effects to watch for. During your visit, be sure to talk with your doctor about any other medications or supplements your child is currently taking, including vitamins, to avoid any unexpected interactions, as well as allergies to potential ingredients. Side effects, ingredients and drug interaction information is also available on the package inserts in over-the-counter medications, so read instructions thoroughly.
Follow the Dosing Instructions
Whether it is a prescription antibiotic or an over-the-counter medication, there will be an exact dosage your child will need for it to be safe and efficient, so pay close attention to the instructions. Overdosing won’t help your child get better faster, and it can be dangerous and cause unintended side effects. Too little, however, may result in it not working, leaving the child in pain or taking longer to overcome an illness or infection. Measure your child’s medications carefully using a syringe or special provided measuring cup. A standard teaspoon or tablespoon out of your kitchen drawer is not the same size as the medication measurements, and you may end up accidentally overdosing your child.
Store Medications Safely
Medications should always be stored out of your child’s reach. If necessary, keep them in a locked cabinet. You should never allow your child to play with medicine bottles, even empty ones.
Help Reluctant Kids Take Medication
You know how important it is for your child to take their medicine, but when children refuse, it can be frustrating for you and upsetting for the child depending on the tactics you use. To help successfully administer medication to an unwilling child, try some of these strategies:
- Tell older children to hold their breath, plug their nose, and take medications fast. It will help minimize the taste.
- Offer a treat after taking medication that can be taken with food.
- Try using a spoon or common dosing cup. Often, children are intimidated by your dosing efforts more than they are by the medication itself.
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist if a medication can be mixed with a small amount of liquid or soft food. This can make it easier to get down. Always use a small amount so that you are sure your child will take in all of the medication.
- Check with your pharmacist if a specific prescribed liquid medication is available to be flavored. Some pharmacies offer several flavors that make them easier for children to take, and allowing your child to pick the flavor may help them be more willing to take the dose.
- For infants, place the syringe as far back in the child’s cheek as possible and squirt the medication slowly toward the back of the mouth. Aim down so as to reduce the odds that you’ll trigger their gag reflex.
Do you need a pediatrician that will help you manage your child’s medications? Contact us today to learn how we can help.