Tips for taking medicines safely


Many children"s medicines come in liquid form. Liquid medicines are easier for children lớn swallow than pills. However, make sure khổng lồ use them the right way so your child gets the amount they need.

Here"s what parents need khổng lồ know.

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Types of liquid medicines

There are 2 types of liquid medicines:

Medicines a doctor prescribes.

OTC medicines

All OTC medicines have the same kind of label. The label gives important information about the medicine. It says what it is for, how lớn use it, what is in it, và what to watch out for. Look on the box or bottle, where it says "Drug Facts."

Kilogram (kg) Pounds (lbs)

If you bởi vì not know your child"s weight, go by age. Check the label khổng lồ make sure it is safe for infants and children younger than 6 years. Pay careful attention when the label says, "Do Not Use." If you are not sure, ask your child"s doctor.It is important to lớn use a dosing tool that has markings on it. The markings help you measure out the right amount of medicine. Dosing tools include oral syringes, dosing spoons, droppers, and dosing cups. Always keep the dosing tool with the bottle of medicine. If a dosing tool is not included with your medicine bottle, ask your pharmacist or doctor for one.

Prescription liquid medicines

Your child"s doctor may prescribe a liquid medicine. These medicines will have a different label than OTC medicines. Always read the label before you give the medicine to lớn your child.

Like with OTC medicines, it is important lớn always use the dosing tool (like an oral syringe) that comes with the medicine, or that your doctor or pharmacist tells you lớn use. If a dosing tool is not provided with the medicine, ask the pharmacist or doctor to give you one.

With OTC or prescription medicines, be sure to gọi your child"s doctor or pharmacist if you have questions like:

How much medicine should I give?

How often should I give the medicine?

How long should I give the medicine for?

Where should I keep the medicine?

How should I get rid of leftover medicine?

Different strengths of infant và children"s medicines

Some medicines may come in different infant & children"s strengths (concentrations). Be careful! The infant medicine may be stronger than the children"s medicine. Parents may make the mistake of giving higher doses of infant medicine to lớn a child, thinking that it is not as strong. Be sure the medicine you give your child is right for his or her weight và age.

How lớn give liquid medicines

Follow the directions exactly. Some parents give their children too much medicine. This will not help them get better faster. Và it can be very dangerous, especially if you give too much for a few days in a row. Always read the label carefully.

How to measure liquid medicines

Use the dropper, syringe, medicine cup, or dosing spoon that comes with the medicine. If the medicine does not come with a dosing tool, ask your pharmacist or doctor khổng lồ give you one to lớn use. Never use teaspoons, tablespoons, or other household spoons to lớn measure medicine.

Be sure lớn use a dosing tool that is just right to lớn fit the dose you want to lớn measure. The tool should not be too big, or too small. Using a dosing tool that is too big makes it easy khổng lồ give too much medicine. Using a dosing tool that is too small means having khổng lồ measure more than one time to lớn give the right amount. This makes it easier to give the wrong amount.

Medicine can be measured in different ways. You may see teaspoon (tsp), tablespoon (tbsp or TBSP), or milliliters (mL, ml, or mLs) on the dosing tool. It is easier khổng lồ measure the right amount with a dosing tool that uses milliliters (mL).

Look very carefully at how the dose amount is written. Be especially careful if you see a period (".") in the middle of the number. For example, "0.5 mL" is not the same as "5 mL". Mixing these up can mean giving 10 times more medicine than your child needs. Or it may mean giving your child 10 times less medicine.

If you are not sure how much medicine to lớn give your child, talk to your doctor or a pharmacist.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist khổng lồ show you how much medicine lớn give using the tool you plan lớn use at home.

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Tell your doctor or pharmacist how much you plan to give, or use your tool to lớn point to how much you plan to give. Then ask if what you said is correct.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist to write down the instructions on a piece of paper for you khổng lồ take home.

Be sure to ask the doctor or pharmacist to lớn give you information in the language you prefer. Having an interpreter help give you instructions, & having information written down in the language you prefer, means that you will be less likely to lớn make an error.

Ask questions. Many parents have trouble understanding medicine instructions. If you are confused about how lớn give your child a medicine, it is better to ask questions than lớn give the medicine incorrectly.

Keep your dosing tool with your medicine so that it is easy khổng lồ remember khổng lồ use them together. Keep them up & away, and out of sight of young children. That way they won"t get into them when you are not watching.

Different ways of measuring medicine & what they mean

There are many ways to measure medicine - it is best khổng lồ measure using milliliters instead of using teaspoons or tablespoons. Use a dosing tool that has markings with milliliters on it.

5 milliliters (mL) = 1 teaspoon (tsp)

15 milliliters = 3 teaspoons (tsp) = 1 tablespoon (Tbsp)

Remember: never use a kitchen spoon lớn measure out medicine. This is because kitchen spoons come in lots of different sizes. If you see instructions in teaspoons (tsp) or tablespoons (Tbsp), & you are confused, talk to lớn your doctor or pharmacist.

Medicine cups

Be sure to use the cup that comes with the medicine. These often come over the lids of liquid cold and flu medicines. Don"t mix and match cups to different medicines. You might over up giving the wrong amount.

Don"t just fill it up. Look carefully at the lines and letters on the cup. Use the numbers khổng lồ fill the cup lớn the right line. Ask your pharmacist or doctor to lớn mark the right line for your child if you are not sure. Put the cup on a flat surface, lượt thích a table, to kiểm tra if you have it filled khổng lồ the right amount. Holding a cup tipped, or at an angle, can make you measure the wrong amount.

Dosing spoons

These work well for older children who can "drink" from the spoon. Use only the spoon that comes with the medicine. Be sure lớn use the lines and numbers to lớn get the right amount for your child. Ask your pharmacist or doctor lớn mark the right line if you are not sure how much lớn give.

Droppers or syringes


Don"t just fill the dropper or syringe khổng lồ the top. Read the directions carefully to lớn see how much to lớn give your child. Look at the numbers on the side of the dropper or syringe. Use the numbers khổng lồ fill it lớn the right line. Or ask your pharmacist or doctor khổng lồ mark the right line if you are not sure. (If the syringe has a cap, throw it away before you use it. The cap could choke your child.)

Don"t put the medicine in the back of the throat. Instead, squirt it gently between your child"s tongue & the side of the mouth. This makes it easier lớn swallow.

If it is important lớn measure the exact right amount, an oral syringe is usually the best dosing tool to lớn use. This is especially true when you are measuring an amount that is less than 5 mL. If your medicine does not come with an oral syringe, talk to your pharmacist or doctor khổng lồ see if you should use one, & if they can give you one.