Is it teething time for your little one?
You asked

Medication and kids: how do I ensure I'm doing it right?

When it comes to babies and toddlers and medication, getting things wrong can lead to serious, or even tragic results. The best way to be sure that you’re getting the dosage, medication and administration right is to get any advice on medication from a professional – either your doctor or a pharmacist.

When you speak to a doctor or pharmacist, give them all the details – your child’s age, any allergies, any other medications your child is on, and anything else you can think of. Also take note of their instructions – some medications need to be taken on an empty stomach, and some after meals. Some will react with certain foods, and some may have side effects you need to watch out for.

When you use over the counter medication on your child (which should be the exception, and not the rule) always speak to a doctor or pharmacist about them first. They may not be safe, or there may be specific instructions you need to follow.

Another critical factor is to make sure that you read dosage instructions properly. Make sure that you’re not seeing a decimal or fraction as a whole number for instance. You may also need to take into account your child’s weight or age when calculating dosages, and make sure that you have the correct measuring spoons, droppers and syringes to measure the exact dosage.

Don’t give infant medication to older children in using standard ‘older children’ dosage – infant medication can often be concentrated, and a dose for a larger child may be far too high. Also, if you combine giving medications with your partner or other adult, have a place to write down what you have given and when, so that your child is not accidentally overdosed.

When your child is prescribed antibiotics, make sure that you complete the course. If you don’t, you may just be opening your child up to re-infection, this time with a drug resistant bacteria!

Never use adult medication on children. Even innocuous seeming medications like aspirin can lead to serious medical conditions like Reye’s Syndrome.

As you can see, there’s plenty to consider when you’re medicating a child. Make sure you always err on the side of caution, and when in doubt, refer to a medical professional.

More questions

There are very specific guidelines when it comes to safely administering over the counter medications to babies, toddlers and preschoolers.
A cold bath can actually do more harm than good to a feverish child.
Many children have a mild reaction to the MMR vaccine – it’s not usually full-blown measles though, and it’s usually not serious. There are a few things to watch out for though...
Injections are necessary - the thing is to just have them and then get on with it. If needs be, have your child’s favourite toy or something else that will distract him while he has his shot.
Antibiotics do not kill viruses, such as the common cold, and by over using antibiotics, particularly when they aren’t necessary, you are weakening your child's future defences! 
In general, chewable medicines are only designed for children two years and older, who are adept at eating solid foods.
Giving any child aspirin could contribute to them getting a serious illness known as Reye’s Syndrome.
As a parent you should understand the risks associated with various different types of medication
Both ibuprofen and paracetamol are effective pain and fever treatment options for babies and children.
Choosing between a vaporiser and a humidifier is a personal choice but both help to make children feel better

Latest

Trending

Hello Mama!
Help us help you by allowing us and our partners to remember your device as having browsed MummyPages and serve you better content and ads

We're on a mission to help our mums and their families thrive by informing, connecting and entertaining.

Join us in our mission by consenting to the use of cookies and IP address recognition by us and our partners to serve you content (including ads) best suited to your interests, both here and around the web.

We promise never to share any other information that may be deemed personal unless you explicitly tell us it's ok.

If you want more info, see our privacy policy.