Medications to Children
best when given correctly:
- Right dose
- Right time
- Right way
The more you
learn about your child’s medicine and the more careful you are, the safer your
child will be.
free to ask questions about your child’s medicine.
What should I know?
Each time a
new medicine is prescribed, to ask the doctor or pharmacist:
- Name and purpose of the medicine
- What it looks like
- How much to give
- When and how to give it
- How often and for how long to give
- What to do if medicine is thrown
- How it interacts with foods, other
medicines, or other medical conditions
- Side effects that may occur
- Side effects to call the doctor
USE the following:
and oral droppers
DO NOT use standard tableware tablespoons or
they are usually not accurate.
Giving medicines to a child
should be awake and alert when taking any medicine. Here are some ways to give medicine to
- Shake well immediately before
giving to your child.
- Read the label on the
container-for the exact amount to give
- Use medicine dropper, oral
syringe, medicine cup or medicine spoon.
- Place in small amount of breast
milk or formula.
- DO NOT add medicine
to the whole bottle.
- Give the medicine first, before the feeding.
- Squirt small amounts of the
medicine into the side of the cheek, while infant is sucking on pacifier
- Squirt small amount of medicine
in side of cheek.
- Use medicine cup or medicine
Pills and Capsules:
For children who cannot swallow pills, check with
the pharmacist whether it is okay to crush the tablet or open the capsule.
If it is okay,
you can do the following:
- Tablets can be crushed
- Between 2 spoons
- Inside a plastic bag
- In folded paper
- Capsules can be opened
not crush the
- Mix the powder in a very small
amount of soft food, such as pudding or applesauce.
- Make sure your child takes all of the
Tips to help give medicines:
It is not
always easy to give medications to children.
- Use a calm, firm approach.
- Be honest and sympathetic.
- Explain the need to take the
- Praise a child for taking
- Incorporate taking medicine into a
best when given the right way. Always
read the label. Check with your doctor,
nurse, or pharmacist if you have questions.
- Avoid calling the medicine candy.
- Store all medicines in their
- Store medications as directed:
- Away from direct sunlight or
- Refrigerate if need.
not store in
humid places such as the bathroom.
- Always request childproof medicine
- Keep them out of the reach of
- Always finish the prescribed
- Always give all doses prescribed.
If the RX says 5 days, give the medicine for all 5 days.
- Never give your child leftover
- Call your doctor/clinic if you
think your child needs a new prescription.
- Never use one child’s medicine for
- Protect against POISONING
- Flush all leftover medicine down
- Teach child the meaning of the
“skulls and crossbones”
to call for medical help:
- For swelling, trouble breathing,
seizure, or unconsciousness, call 911
- For rash or other side effects,
call the doctor/clinic or pharmacist. Do not stop giving the medicine without asking first.
- If too much or the wrong kind of
medicine is taken, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.
following Web sites for more information:
Food and Drug Administration
Healthcare Products Association
Created by Robin Jahnke RN, BS, UMHS, April 2007