Giving a child medication can be a challenging job - and one that many parents dread! Wrong dosage can create a havoc and lead to unnecessary complications or the problem not getting treated at all. So make sure you give the child the proper dose.
Here is a small guide that will help you understand more about dosage and administration of children's medicines.
- Dosage: Usually, most pharmaceutical companies print the dosage as per the age or the weight range of the child. This is true mainly for paediatric drugs. Yet, there are other ways of calculating dosage as well. You can divide the age of the child (in months) by 150 and multiply the sum with the average adult dosage to compute the dose that the child should get.
- Frequency: Also, always speak with a paediatrician to find out how often a medicine must be administered. The label will usually have this information, but it is always best to mention the exact symptoms and ask for the frequency.
- Instruments: Child medicine usually comes in liquid form for easy ingestion. You can use a wide mouthed calibrated syringe for administering the medicine, or you could use a spoon, or even the measuring cup that comes with the medicine. The baby's bottle or a dropper can be used for infants as well. Take care to watch for signs of choking and administer the medicine in one dose broken up into smaller doses to avoid the same.
- Storage: Ask your doctor about storing the medicine at room temperature or in the refrigerator as this will affect the efficacy of the medicine.
- Administration: Remember to find out if the medicine is to be administered before or after the child has had a feed or a meal. Then, wash your hands and prepare the child by ensuring that he or she lies still without any squirming. Make the child comfortable about the idea of taking medication and keep the head propped up. Talk to distract the child and if need be, practice sucking it in so that the child avoids choking. You can mask the unpleasant taste of certain medicines by keeping a glass of juice or candy nearby.
- Missed Doses: If your child throws up a dose, or you miss one, do not give a double dose. Instead skip and give it later.
Take due precautions when you are administering, storing and measuring the medicine for your child as this could have an impact on how the child reacts and heals.