Tips for giving medicine to children safely: don’t mix with juice or bake in a cupcake

A new set of three short videos from NPS MedicineWise and the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network gives practical tips for parents and carers giving medicine to children this winter cold and flu season.

NPS MedicineWise spokesperson and pharmacist Sarah Spagnardi, who appears in one of the videos, says it’s common for medicine misadventure to be a cause of poisoning in little ones.

“The team here at NPS MedicineWise had been noticing a lot of social media posts from parents asking questions about how to safely give medicine to children, especially if they squirm and refuse to take it,” said Ms Spagnardi.

“Whether you need to give your child medicines for a winter cold, an earache, for teething or for any other health condition, there is a lot of questionable ‘advice’ out there. To combat this we teamed up with the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network to produce these one-minute videos that address the most-asked questions.

“Among questions such as how much of the medicine to give, how to encourage the child to take the medicine, and where to safely store it, we also have also heard questions like ‘Can I mix this medicine with juice or yogurt’ and ‘Can I bake it into a cupcake?’.

“Busy parents and carers need good, evidence-based advice – and they need it fast, so these three quick videos feature practical tips from a nurse, a child life therapist and a pharmacist to help parents and carers keep their children safe and healthy,” she said.

Rachel Chappell, founder and publisher of North Shore Mums, which has 32,000 members on Facebook, says the videos are informative and easy to watch.

“Oh, how I wish I’d seen these videos in my early days of motherhood, when I was struggling to give medicine to my sick baby. It was such a challenge! These quick videos are packed full of useful tips and tricks, and easy to watch (even when you’re multitasking, as us mums often do),” she said.

Some of the key tips from the videos are:

  • Read the label and know the active ingredient
  • Dose your child according to age and weight – know your child’s current body weight, and always ask a health professional if you’re unsure of the correct dose
  • When using a syringe to give medicine, put it in the side of the mouth towards the back teeth, and use small squirts
  • Don’t mix medicines with other substances like milk or juice
  • Keep track of the medicines you’re using in a diary, log or Medicines List.

To watch the videos go to NPS MedicineWise on YouTube.

For more information on prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines (herbal, ‘natural’, vitamins and minerals) from a health professional, call NPS Medicines Line on 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424) for the cost of a local call (calls from mobiles may cost more). Hours of operation are Monday–Friday 9 am–5 pm AEST (excluding public holidays).

Individual video links:

If you would like copies of the videos to share in your hospital or community health setting, email [email protected]

Spokespeople are available for media interviews.

 

Media enquiries

Matthew Harris
NPS MedicineWise Media & PR adviser
0419 618 365 or [email protected]