Having a sick child is a frightening experience. Even the slightest cough or fever can make the mind race. In most cases, however, there is no reason to panic (easier said than done!). Usually some simple over-the-counter medicine that you can buy at your local pharmacy will do the trick to make your little one feel better.
But one thing to make certain of is that you are giving your sick child the right dose of medicine. Every parent wants to make their child feel better as quickly as possible. However, due to errors in measuring, many parents end up giving their children too much medicine too fast, or not enough.
So, we’ve come up with some advice to help you make sure you are giving your sick child the right dose of medication.
Check your math
The dose of liquid medicines for children often come with a few math calculations. Some things you might have to factor in is the weight of the child, either pounds or kilograms, plus the amount of time between dosages, as well as actual amount of liquid. Sometimes the liquid measurements are in milliliters, sometimes in teaspoons or tablespoons. Even if it might seem simple, when you are feeling the stress of having a sick child, it can get confusing.
So, take a second and make sure your math is correct. If the dosage is in a measurements you are not familiar with, there are many quick conversion websites or apps you can use to make sure you’re getting it right. It’s best not to make estimates when it comes to medication for children, so double-or even triple-check your math.
Beware the plastic cup
Many liquid medicines come with a small plastic measuring cup. It is, of course, meant to be a tool to help measure out the correct dosage. But using it actually can lead to administering an incorrect dosage of either too much or too little.
If you are using a cup to measure out the liquid, make sure you set it on a hard surface or countertop instead of holding it in your hand. Then, get eye level with it to measure — looking at the amount of liquid from above will skew the results. By looking at the measurement at eye level, you will be able to accurately confirm the dosage.
Ask your Pharmacist for help
There are a lot of options for medication for children, and with the pressure of knowing your child is sick, the choices can feel overwhelming. But don’t worry, Victoria pharmacists are there to help. Pharmacists are familiar with all of the medication found on the shelves and are there to answer any questions you might have.
Whether it is about a symptom as simple as a cough or something that seems more serious, there are no silly questions when it comes to your child’s health and well-being. So, please don’t ever be afraid to ask!
At our pharmacy in Victoria, we have seen many parents who are unsure about what to do when their child is showing signs of illness. And no matter how many children a parent has, it never gets less stressful to know that a child isn’t feeling well. But taking the time to get the right medication and to carefully and properly measure it out is a part of doing the best you can to help your child get better.