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Giving Medicine to a Child

Before giving medicine to a child, be sure to discuss the directions fully with your healthcare provider. Read the information that comes with the medicine, plan the time that each dose will be given, and follow through with the healthcare provider's instructions, including coming back for any rechecks. These steps can help ensure that you are giving medicine to a child correctly

Giving Medicine to a Child: An Overview

If your healthcare provider gives you a prescription for medicine for your child, make sure that you understand the directions completely before you leave his or her office. Here are a few suggestions that can help when giving medicine to your child.
 
Read
Make sure the pharmacy has given you printed information about the medicine and clear instructions about how to give it to your child. Read the information that comes with the medicine. If you have any problems understanding the information, ask the pharmacist, your doctor, or a nurse. You should know the answers to the following questions:
 
  • Does the medicine need to be refrigerated?
  • How many times a day will I give my child this medicine?
  • How many days will my child take this medicine?
  • Should it be given with food or without food?
     
Plan
Sometimes, it is hard to remember when you have given your child a dose of medicine. Before you give the first dose, make a written plan or chart to cover all of the days that the medication will be taken. Some children may require 10 to 14 days of treatment.
 
Put your chart on the refrigerator so that you can check off the doses at every time. Be sure to measure carefully. Use a measuring spoon or measuring cup, if one comes with the medicine. If one does not come with it, ask for one. Do not use spoons that come with tableware sets because they are not always a standard size.
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