Home Health How to Give Your Child...

How to Give Your Child Medicine Safely

Unfortunately there is a time in all our lives as parents that our kids become ill and we need to administer medicine in order for them to become better.

It’s scary when our kids get sick and we do everything in our power to nurse them back to health. We parents need to do a good job of making sure they get their medicine properly.

Over 71,000 kids have to be treated in emergency rooms annually because of accidental poisoning by medicines.

Because children are small and their metabolic systems are immature, an accidental poisoning can be fatal. In the last few years, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that kids under four (4) not be given OTC cough and cold medicines for this very reason. The following list covers some of the worse mistakes we as parents can make.

Not Checking Dosages

Parents should check the dosage on the bottle every time they give their child medicine to not give the wrong amount.

If you have several kids and are giving more than one medicine at the same time you will want to make sure you are giving the right kid the right dose.

Also if you get a refill or the doctor orders another round of antibiotics he might change the dose. It may not seem necessary to you but you should read the bottle every time so you won’t make a mistake.

Not Checking Age, Height and Weight

Over the counter medication dosages are determined by their weight, not their age or height.  It’s important that you don’t guess your child’s weight, but make sure you know his or her exact weight when you start the medicine.

If you guess you could be giving the child too much. On the other hand if they weigh more than you guessed, they are probably not getting enough of the medicine.

Using the Wrong Measurement

Use the measuring tool that comes with the medicine. Often times parents use a teaspoon or a measuring cup or estimate what they think is the right amount.

It has been shown that kitchen teaspoons can hold two to three times as much as the dosing cup that comes with most OTC medicines.

This is dangerous in that you can under dose or over-dose the child resulting in them getting sicker from the overdose or not getting well because they are not getting enough.

Not following Doctor’s Orders

Parents often times will not give the number of doses that they are asked to give by the doctor because the child doesn’t like the taste or there are side effects that the child does not like.

This can lead to your child getting sicker and may result in the child either having to go to the hospital or perhaps taking some form of medicine even longer.

Instead of skipping doses you should talk to your pharmacist or doctor and see if they have suggestions as to what you can add to the medicine to make it taste better.

Some parents also try to hide pills in food. Before you do this make sure you check to make sure the food does not affect the rate of absorption of the medicine.

With most antibiotics you need to give the entire bottle in order for your child to get all better.   When your doctor tells you to do this you must, because, although it may seem like they are all better, they usually aren’t.

You cannot be throwing out the bottle until all the pills or the liquid are given. Make sure you know what the doctor’s instructions are.

Trying to Speed Up their Recovery

Many parents are so worried about their little one being ill and missing school, or perhaps the family vacation coming up that they think if they increase the medicine the child will get better sooner. This is a huge no-no for these little bodies.

Also don’t assume that if the child throws up an hour after that you should give them the medicine again.  Some parents, if the child does not get better in a day or two do not give them more.

It can take up to three or four days for most antibiotics to work. If the child throws up or doesn’t seem to be getting better right away, call the doctor. Never give extra medicine without checking with their pediatrician.

Being Mommy Doctor


Your one child is just getting over strep throat and their older sister is complaining of a sore throat.

You assume that she is coming down with it too, and you have some medicine left from the other child. You are short on money that month so you decide to give her the other child’s medicine.  This is extremely dangerous and should never be done.

Although the symptoms may be similar for both children it may be something different and some diseases when given certain medicines will make the disease worse. Always call a doctor. Never use old medicine, chances are it won’t work and it could even do damage. Always call the doctor.

Not Telling Babysitter

It is important if you are going out to make sure your child still gets the medicine. Show them where it is and make a note as to when it is due.

Editorial Staffs at Healthtian, A team of Writers.

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