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Tips on giving medicine to children

 
 
A note regarding infants under the age of one year
  • It is a good idea to get your doctor's advice if you plan to medicate your baby with over the counter medications.
  • Dosing medications in infants under one year of age should be as accurate as possible. Oral syringes and spoons are available.
  • Over the counter medications should be dosed by weight where this dosing option is given on the label.
  • Infants may dehydrate if they suffer much diarrhoea or vomiting. They can survive easily without food for a couple of days but they need fluid and electrlyte replenishment. Have them assessed by a doctor and, if needed, give them Gastrolyte or Pedialyte.
  • Infants with fever should always be checked by a physician.

GENERAL GUIDELINES:

Many childhood illnesses are caused by viruses. Antibiotics will not help. If the doctor feels that your child has a virus, they will adopt a "wait and see" approach. 

Giving Medicine

  • Medications are generally given in liquid form. Some products are available as chewables. A very few (Gravol and acetaminophen) can be given rectally.
  • For children who hate to take liquid medicine, doses can be mixed (but not pre-mixed) with, for example, juices. Make sure that they drink the entire amount in order to receive a full dose.
  • Some tablets (ask the pharmacist), including chewables, can be crushed and given in semi-solids such as apple sauce, chocolate sauce or jam. You do not have to grind the tablet into a fine powder. In fact, the child will taste less medicine if you leave large particles or even chunks.
  • Antibiotics are generally given until finished. Please note that liquid antibiotics are difficult to measure accurately since they tend to foam when shaken. Dose as carefully as possible but do not be concerned if you are a little bit off. There also tends to be a bit of waste so don't be surprised if a 7 day supply lasts only 6 days; just take until finished.

Keep all medication and household chemicals out of the reach of infants, toddlers and children.