Children's Medicine is any medication which can be given to children, and can include tablets, syrups and suppositories.
Children are not merely smaller versions of adults. Medications which are commonly used for adults can have adverse affects on children. Medication should never be given to children unless it has been prescribed or recommended by a Doctor or Pharmacist.
If your child has been prescribed medication there are six basic rules to know: 1) Correct method: When your child is sick, it can sometimes be difficult to get him/her to take his/her medicine. As a result, medicines come in different forms. - Syrups. There are now liquids which are free of alcohol, sugar and artificial colouring. They include most prescribed antibiotics and pain relievers. The child can drink the syrup from a measuring cup. Alternatively, use a dropper to squirt the liquid over the back of the tongue. Some syrups can be mixed with a little water or juice. Check the label. - Tablets. These can be swallowed whole or crushed and taken with food. Some tablets are chewable or soluble and are easier to give. When giving a tablet or a capsule, wet them first with a little water. This will allow the medication to be swallowed more easily. Ideally the tablet or capsule should be gently placed on the back of the tongue of the child. - Suppositories. This form of medicine is used when oral medication is not advised. The suppositories are inserted gently into the rectum (bottom) of the child where the medication is absorbed very quickly into the bloodstream. They are useful if the child is vomiting and cannot keep anything down.
2) Correct time: Read the directions on the label carefully. It is very important to give any medication at the correct time. Other suggestions on the label will tell you to give the medicine after or before or between meals. Waking the child at night to give a prescribed dose is very rare. Ask your Pharmacist if you need advice.
3) Correct dose: Read the label carefully and only use the prescribed dose. Check for any warning which may be on the label as well. Children need to be given their own dose and not one which an adult would take. The amount of medication sometimes depends on the weight and size of the child. Never give a child more than the amount prescribed. Ask your Pharmacist for advice.
4) Correct child: Never give one child's medicine to another child. It is dangerous to keep old medicines at home as it is a great temptation to use up what is left.
5) Correct choice: Not all medicines are suitable for children. Certain medications which may be safely given to adults are dangerous for children. Ask your Pharmacist for advice.
6) Correct storage: Medicines cause about one third of all childhood poisonings - many of these could be prevented if medicines are stored properly. Keep all medicines in a locked cupboard, out of the reach and sight of children. Do not leave medicines lying around after use. Medicines should not be kept in bedside drawers which are easily accessible to children. If you suspect a child has swallowed any medication telephone the nearest Poisons Information Centre.
PHARMACIST'S ADVICEYour Pharmacist is the best health professional to advise on all queries concerning medication. 1) Ask your Pharmacist about the correct dosage of your medicine and the easiest method of taking the medication. 2) Ask where to store the medicine. Store all medicine in original containers and away from the easy reach of a child. A high locked cupboard is best. 3) Ask your Pharmacist for child proof containers if they are available. 4) Ask your Pharmacist to identify any unused medicines which are at home. 5) Ask your Pharmacist to dispose of any unwanted medicine. 6) Never call medicines lollies or treats. 7) Household teaspoons should not be used to measure liquid medication. A measuring device with the correct dosage level marked off may be the most reliable way of ensuring an accurate dose.