Oops! This browser is no longer supported. Please switch to a supported browser to continue using Bub Hub.

Useful? Share it!

7 ways to be medicine wise with children

How to be safe with children and medicationMedicines given incorrectly by parents and carers is the most common reason for accidental poisonings in Australian children under 12 months.

Accurately measuring and administering medicines to children helps avoid accidental overdosing or under dosing. But it isn’t always easy to think straight in the middle of the night when your child is crying in pain. There are ways that you can be ‘medicine wise’ with children.

7 ways to be medicine wise with children

Read the label

Make sure you read the labels and packaging EVERY time you are buy a new medicine and before you give that medicine to a child. Children’s medicine comes in different forms and strengths for different ages – which means the doses are different. Make sure you read the label and know the strength of the medicine when measuring a child’s dose, so you don’t over or under dose them.

Know the active ingredient

The active ingredient is the chemical that makes the medicine work.The most commonly used pain-killers for children will have paracetamol or ibuprofen as the active ingredient but you’ll find a variety of different brand names for each. Make sure you know which are ibuprofen and which are paracetamol so you don’t end up giving a child a double dose of one or the other.

Common active ingredients like paracetamol can also be found in a range of medicines (such as cold and flu tablets) in a combination formula. So, don’t risk double-dosing, always check the active ingredient.

Dose according to age and weight

Over-the-counter children’s medicine labels often contain age and average weight dosage recommendations. Read these tables carefully. Do not give more than the recommended dose for the child’s AGE. If your child is smaller or larger than average for their age you can chat to your doctor or pharmacist about how to accurate dose them.

Measure accurately

Accurate measurements for liquid medicines matter. Use the dosing device provided in the package, such as a dropper, oral syringe or medicine cup. If the medicine doesn’t come with a dosing device, ask your pharmacist to recommend one.

Keep a record

Keeping a record can help you to avoid exceeding the maximum daily dose and reduce the risk of double dosing, particularly when more than one person cares for the child. Write down each time you administer a medicine, noting the time and the medicine name.

Be prepared

Don’t wait until the last minute or the middle of the night when your child is sick to know how much to dose your child.

It’s important to weigh children regularly, know how to interpret medicine dosage information on labels about age and weight, know how to use your measuring device and have the proper measuring device handy.

Ask questions

If you are unsure how to interpret dosing information on product labelling, check the correct dosage to give your child with your doctor or pharmacist.

If you have any questions about medicines and children, call the pharmacists at the NPS Medicines Line on 1300 MEDICINE.


NOTE: This article is not intended to replace actual medical advice. If you’re concerned about your child’s health, contact your health professional. If you have any concerns about overdosing or accidental poisonings, immediately ring the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26, or take the child to the nearest hospital emergency department.

About Bub Hub

Our Bub Hub team is in the thick of the sleep deprivation, tantrums and unconditional love that comes with parenting. Plus, with the support of Mater, we have unvetted access to the minds of Australia’s leading ...

Post your comment

Comment Guidelines : Play nice! We welcome opinions, discussion and compliments. Especially compliments. But remember: the person on the other side of the computer screen is someone's mum, brother, nan or highly intelligent but opinionated cat. We don't tolerate nastiness or bullying. We'll delete disrespectful comments and any replies to them. more

Thank you for contributing to our website.

Your comments must be relevant to the topic and must not be added with the purpose of causing harm or hurt.

We reserve the right to remove your comments if they:

  • Defame any person
  • Breach any person's confidentiality
  • Breach any person's intellectual property rights
  • Breach privacy laws
  • Breach anti-discrimination laws
  • Contains links, advertising or spam
  • Stalk, harrass or bully a person
  • Promote or encourage an illegal act
  • Contain course language or content

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

If you have a Gravatar, it will appear next to your comments. Read more about Gravatars here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to Top