Protecting the Gift Excerpt
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The following are some tips for using common dosing instruments:
- Syringes: Syringes are convenient for infants who can't drink from a cup. A parent can squirt the medicine in the back of the child's mouth where it's less likely to spill out. Syringes are also convenient for storing a dose. The parent can measure it out for a babysitter to use later. Some syringes come with caps to prevent medicine from leaking out. These caps are usually small and are choking hazards. Parents who provide a syringe with a cap to a babysitter for later use should caution the sitter to remove the cap before giving the medicine to the child. The cap should be discarded or placed where the child can't get at it. There are two kinds of syringes: oral syringes made specifically for administering medicine by mouth, and hypodermic syringes (for injections), which can be used for oral medication if the needles are removed. For safety, parents should remove the needle from a hypodermic syringe. Always remove the cap before administering the medication into the child's mouth.
- Droppers: These are safe and easy to use with infants and children too young to drink from a cup. Be sure to measure at eye level and administer quickly, because droppers tend to drip.
- Cylindrical dosing spoons: These are convenient for children who can drink from a cup but are likely to spill. The spoon looks like a test tube with a spoon formed at the top end. Small children can hold the long handle easily, and the small spoon fits easily in their mouths.
- Dosage cups: These are convenient for children who can drink from a cup without spilling. Be sure to check the numbers carefully on the side, and measure out liquid medicine with the cup at eye level on a flat surface.
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