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Giving Medicines to Infants and Children

Giving Medicines to Infants and Children


When your infant or child needs medicine, it's extremely important to know what the drug does, what dosage to give, and what possible side effects to look for. There are some drugs that can be dangerous or even deadly for babies or kids, so pay close attention to labels. Even over-the-counter medications can cause complications, so always check with a pharmacist about possible drug interactions and time between dosages.

If it's a prescription medication, always check the label carefully for proper dosages. A pharmacist's mistake could cause serious medical problems for your child, so make sure that it looks right and double check with the pharmacist if you're not sure. If it's an over-the-counter infant or child medication, read the entire label carefully before you use it. Certain children's medications aren't safe for kids under a certain age, so don't assume that a children's cough syrup is fine to give to an infant.

You must ensure that you're giving your child the proper dose at the right time. Measure the amount twice to make sure that there are no errors, and if your child is on more than one medication, be careful of interactions. Many infant and children's medications contain similar ingredients, so you may unknowingly be double-dosing your child.

The proper storage of medicine is essential. Never leave medications in bathroom cabinets or on tables. Many infant and child medicines are sweet-tasting and appeal to children. Always throw away unused prescriptions or medications, and don't give one child's prescription medication to another - even if the ailment seems the same.

There are some tips and tricks you can use to make giving medication much easier. For infants, a syringe is much better than a dosage cup when giving medications. Babies are too small to drink from a dosage cup, and can choke if liquid is poured into the throat. A syringe makes it easy to squirt liquid medication into the baby's throat. It's also an effective way to allow other caregivers to give your baby medication, as amounts can be pre-measured into the syringe and refrigerated for later use.

You can mix certain liquid medications or crushed up pills or capsules into an infant or child's food so they don't have to swallow medicine. For infants, medication can be mixed directly with breast milk, formula or baby cereal to make things easier. Children will swallow medicine much more effectively if it's mixed with juice or yogurt. However, always check with your child's doctor first, as some medications can't be taken with food, or lose effectiveness if broken or crushed.

Medicines for infants and children can generally be very safe if given properly. As a parent, you must ensure that medications are properly stored, and that they are used correctly for your baby or child.

 


 
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