Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How to Give Medication to Infants and Toddlers: Ear Drops and Oral Medications

Yesterday I was writing about corneal abrasions and the medications that a physician will likely prescribe after such an injury occurs.  It occurred to me today that listing some good links on "how to" administer eye drops (and other prescribed medications) to infants or toddlers would be a good idea.

Based on my past years of working as a pediatric registered nurse, I know how difficult it can be to medicate infants and toddlers.  In order to give the medication with the minimum of fuss, it's best to swaddle (wrap) an infant gently but firmly in a receiving blanket so that the baby's arms are fixed at his/her side.  For an older toddler, it may very well take two people to give necessary medication.

Here are two websites with rather nice information about how to give medication to infants and toddlers: 

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children:  How to Give your Child Eye Drops

From the Ohio State University Medical Center:  How to Give Your Baby Medicine by Mouth

Follow the Doctor's Orders

Give your child medication that is prescribed for him or her.  Don't borrow or share medication meant for someone else.  Store the medication as directed by your pharmacist's instructions.  Most antibiotics will need to be refrigerated.  Continue to give the prescribed medication for the entire period that the doctor has ordered.  Don't stop the medication early because the child "seems better."  Doing so can cause lingering infections that become resistant to the medication.

Do Not Give . . .

Never give aspirin to infants or children.  Check the lable of any medication you intend to give.  If any of the ingredients contain salycilic acids don't give your child the medication.  Check the labels on all of your over-the-counter medications.  Look for "black box" warning labels and other instructions to parents.  Recently many cold and cough medications have been deemed dangerous to young children and the new packaging reflects such information.

Talk to your pharmacist . . .

Pharmacists do more than fill your prescriptions.  They will gladly discuss over-the-counter medications with you and help you find appropriate options for your child.  In addition, consult your pharmacist to determine whether or not the prescribed medication can be made more palatable for your child--by adding "better" tasting flavors by compounding the medication.

. . . .

1 comment:

Carolyn Cooper, MPH, RN said...

謝謝你的鼓勵的話!(Thank you, Money, for your kind words of encouragement)