3 medication mistakes parents make

March 12, 2017
  • MISTAKE 1: When Baby spits out her medication, you feed her another dose
    1 / 3 MISTAKE 1: When Baby spits out her medication, you feed her another dose

    There’s always a risk of overdosing if you do this, says Dr Wendy Sinnathamby, a specialist in paediatrics and consultant at Raffles Children’s Centre. “If she spits out only a bit or vomits more than 10 minutes after taking her medication, it is not advisable to repeat the dose.”

    While you can offer it again if she vomits before the 10-minute mark, it’s often best to err on the side of caution. If in doubt, don’t do it, she advises.

    DO THIS INSTEAD: Avoid placing the medication in the front and centre of the tongue, areas where taste buds are mainly found, says Dr Sinnathamby. Use a syringe and place the medication near the back of the tongue. Aim for the back of the gums and the inside of the cheek instead. This allows the medicine to flow down the throat easily.

    What if you can’t even get Baby to open her mouth? Pinch her little nose, then quickly inserting the syringe into her mouth, suggests Dr Dawn Lim is a consultant paediatrician at Kinder Clinic at Paragon Medical Centre. Rope Daddy in for this tricky manoeuvre.

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  • MISTAKE 2: You stop feeding antibiotics when she gets better
    2 / 3 MISTAKE 2: You stop feeding antibiotics when she gets better

    Why bother forcing it down her throat since she is already well, right? Wrong. “Infection symptoms may recur or worsen a few days after you stop the antibiotics. By this time, the bacteria might have developed resistance to the first antibiotic, and you’ll need stronger ones,” says Dr Sinnathamby.

    DO THIS INSTEAD: Ensure that your little one finishes the entire course, right down to the last drop. If she hates the taste, try mixing it with some honey, jam or yogurt, suggests Dr Sinnathamby. But be sure to check with the doctor if that particular medication can be mixed with food.

    Related: 3 mistakes to avoid when Baby learns to sit and walk

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  • MISTAKE 3: You give her the medication prescribed for her elder sibling because they have the same symptoms
    3 / 3 MISTAKE 3: You give her the medication prescribed for her elder sibling because they have the same symptoms

    The dosage prescribed for your older child may be too high for your infant, says Dr Sinnathamby. “With babies, it is important to be precise about the dosage, according to their individual weight. So if Baby only needs 1.5ml but you give 3ml, then you’re double-dosing her,” warns Dr Lim.

    DO THIS INSTEAD: Take her to a doctor to work out the diagnosis and treatment. If you self-medicate, more serious illnesses may be missed, says Dr Sinnathamby.

    Besides, young children – especially those under the age of 18 months – often have non-specific symptoms when they fall sick, she adds. In this age group, common symptoms like fever and vomiting could signal anything from a simple viral infection to urinary tract infection, gastroenteritis or more serious conditions like meningitis (brain infection) or septicaemia (blood-poisoning).

    If you’ve already fed Baby with her sibling’s medicine, watch out for signs of a drug overdose, such as nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, dizziness, seizures, drowsiness, breathing difficulties or hallucinations. Every child responds differently, depending on the time and amount of medication taken, says Dr Sinnathamby.

    (Photo: 123RF.com)

    Related: Chicken pox vaccine: what you should know

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