You may have seen prescription directions that say to take 1 teaspoonful four times a day. Do you grab a teaspoon from your kitchen drawer? Do you know how to measure the correct dose? Don’t fret! I have created a short list of measurements for you. The next few articles will concentrate on recommendations for children’s medications, so it is important to measure out the correct dose to prevent underdosing or overdosing your child.
If your child’s prescription states to take 1 teaspoonful four times a day, this does not mean that you go to your kitchen drawer and grab a teaspoon to measure out the medication. No, no, nooo! This means that you need to measure out and give 5ml four times a day. Here’s why: companies that make teaspoons are not required to make a teaspoon that measures a specific amount of liquid. So, some teaspoons may measure out 4ml and some teaspoons may measure out 6ml or 7ml. This means that if you grab a teaspoon from the drawer in your kitchen, you may overdose or underdose your child. Yikes! So run down to your local pharmacy and ask for an oral measuring syringe so you can measure the correct dose of your child’s medication.
Most oral measuring syringes (which are provided free of charge by pharmacies) only measure up to 5ml, so if you need to give more than 5ml for one dose, you will have to refill the syringe to the correct additional amount to complete the full dose. For example, if the directions say that you need to give your child 7.5ml, you will fill the syringe up to the maximum 5ml, and carefully push out the 5ml into a dosing cup (see picture) or a sippy cup. Refill the syringe with 2.5ml and carefully push 2.5ml into the same cup. Then give the cup to your child to drink the medication. The 5ml measurement plus the 2.5ml measurement adds up to 7.5ml total (5ml + 2.5ml = 7.5ml), which is the amount of one dose of that medication.
You may be wondering why I am suggesting that you place the total amount into a dosing cup first before giving the dose to your child. Well, when you draw up the 5ml and give it to your child, what happens if they don’t like the taste of the medication, eh? You will have a tough time trying to give them the last 2.5ml! Just a thought.
Here is a short list of measurements which will aid you in measuring out the correct dose for your child.
Hope this helps. Feel free to ask for clarification of any doses.