How to safely give your child medicine

Do you know how to give the right dose at the right times? And are your medicines completely secure?

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Quick tips to make sure you’re safely giving your child medicine:

  • Keep your medicine cabinet out of reach and locked at all times. 
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  • Read the instructions – Follow the directions on the bottle: if a medicine is to be given four-hourly, with a maximum four doses in 24 hours, don’t be tempted to give your baby an extra dose for luck.
  • Check the date – If you’ve had a bottle of medicine for any length of time, check the expiry date before giving it to your baby.  If in doubt, don’t use it.
  • Use the spoon provided – Getting the dosage exactly right can be vital to your child’s wellbeing: just a little too much could have an adverse effect, especially on a very young baby. Your medicine will come with its own dosage spoon. If you’re using a syringe, there will be clearly marked dosage amounts on the side.
  • Write it down – There’s so much to remember when you’re caring for a young baby you might lose track of how many doses you’ve given and when, so write each one down. This will also be helpful if you need to go out and someone else takes over your baby’s care.
  • What if he vomits? – If your baby vomits immediately after taking a dose of medicine, you can repeat the dose straight away, but if he vomits later on, wait until the next dose is due. If you’re not sure that he’s bought a whole dose up, don’t give any more as you won’t know exactly how much has been lost.
  • Never give adult medicines or medicines prescribed for someone else – Even small doses of adult can be life threatening to children.
  • Never give medicines containing asprin – It has been linked to a serious condition of the liver and kidneys called Reye’s syndrome in children under 16. It should be avoided unless on prescription.
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  • If your child has asthma or is allergic to bee stings, peanuts, or shellfish – or he has another type of life threatening allergy – carry his medication with you and keep a spare set in your first-aid kit.

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