Know the child’s weight
Young children’s bodies are small, so even small dosing errors can cause them harm. Giving the right dose (or amount) of a medicine based on a child’s weight is important so that they receive the safest and most effective dose.
Weigh children regularly and keep a record
Use the weight of the child and the dosing instructions on the medicine’s packaging to calculate how much medicine to give. Never guess the amount of medicine to give a child or try to figure it out from adult dosing instructions.
To weigh a child accurately you will need a set of scales, ideally digital scales that measure in kilograms, placed on a hard surface. If you don’t have scales at home, your pharmacist, health clinic or doctor can help.
An easy way to weigh a child
- Weigh yourself and write down your weight.
- Hold the child and weigh yourself again. Write down your combined weight.
- Subtract the first weight from the second to get the child’s weight.
If a child is particularly large or small for their age, check the dose with a pharmacist or doctor before giving it.
Record the information on our Know your child's weight card, which also gives you handy tips about measuring liquid medicines accurately.