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How To Use An Oral Syringe To Give Your Baby Medicine Safely And Effectively?

Children are more sensitive to medications than adults are. If given in the wrong dose or at the wrong time, even some of the most benign over-the-counter (OTC) medicines can be ineffective or harmful. Here's how to give medicine to your kids with confidence.

First, wash your hands thoroughly to prevent spreading germs, then follow these steps to get the right dose:

Fill The Oral Syringe

If you're administering over-the-counter medicine, read the directions carefully to determine the correct dose, using your baby's weight as a guide. You can also ask your doctor or pharmacist if it's safe for your child. If the package doesn't specify a child's dose, it may not be appropriate. Again, ask about possible side effects and interactions with other medications. Also be sure to tell the doctor and pharmacist about any allergies your child has.

Plastic Oral Dispensers (Oral Syringes) / Enteral Syringes

If your baby is taking prescription medication, follow the directions on the label or ask your pharmacist or doctor to mark the correct fill level on the oral syringe.

Some medicines have to be taken after eating or, conversely, on an empty stomach. Others are absorbed into the body more effectively if they're accompanied by particular foods.

If the oral syringe has a removable cap, take it off and throw it away. (Children have been known to choke on these caps.)
Check the measurements on the side of the syringe to see how much to fill it.

Push the syringe's plunger all the way down. Then put the tip of the syringe into the medicine bottle or a small cup with some of the medicine poured into it. Slowly pull back on the plunger until the syringe fills to the appropriate mark.

Make sure there aren't any large air bubbles in the syringe. If there are, empty the syringe and try again.

If there's medicine left in the cup after you fill the syringe to the correct level, return it to the bottle.

Give Your Baby The Medicine

Hold your baby the same way you do when you nurse or feed him.

Put the syringe into your baby's mouth and gently squirt a small amount of the medicine between his tongue and the side of his mouth. This helps him swallow it easily. (Don't squirt the medicine at the back of his throat because that's likely to make your baby gag.)

If you need to give him another squirt, wait until he swallows the first one entirely. Make sure he's finished taking it all before laying him down.


Plastic Oral Dispensers (Oral Syringes) / Enteral Syringes
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Amber Infants Oral Dispensers or White Infant Oral Syringes
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Plastic Oral Syringes With
Purple Plunger


Help The Medicine Go Down

Your child may resist taking medicine, especially if it doesn't taste very good. If that's the case, you may want to ask the pharmacist about a flavor mix-in (which can give the medicine a variety of different tastes) to make it more palatable. Don't mix medicine into a bottle of milk or cup of juice, however. If your child doesn't drink the whole thing, he won't get a full dose.

If your child is old enough to eat solids, another option is to ask your doctor about getting medicine in tablet form. That way you can crush it up and mix it into a little yogurt or applesauce.

Be upbeat when giving your child his medicine, but don't call medicine "candy." Saying that medicine is a treat may make it easier to get him to take it at first, but the technique can backfire. If he somehow comes across the bottle, he may decide to finish it off on his own.

Wash Your Hands Again

Oral syringes, droppers, and special dosage spoons are sometimes packaged with the medicine. Always use whatever device comes with the medicine to be sure of getting the correct dose. Rinse it out well between doses or before administering a different medication.


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