The Do’s and Don’ts of giving your baby/child antibiotics
This blog will not debate the pros and cons of the use of antibiotics – It is more about how to give an antibiotic to your child effectively after they have been prescribed by your healthcare provider.
Many illnesses are as the result of bacterial infection and when a doctor deems it appropriate to treat your child with antibiotics you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to ensure they are getting the right dose, at the right time and in the right way!
Here are some tips on what to do with your antibiotics and what to avoid doing!
- Always read the directions so that you know what dose to give your little one and at what time intervals.
- Check the storage directions with your pharmacist – many antibiotics require refrigeration and some are ok just to be kept in a press away from sunlight.
- You’ve heard it before – you’ll hear it again – make sure to finish the course or the infection could come back stronger and worse than ever!
- Choose between a spoon or an oral syringe – if you don’t have a dosing syringe ask your pharmacist for one – most pharmacies hand these out for free!
- If you’re trying to administer the medication to a toddler try to explain that the medicine is from the doctor to make them feel better. Lots and lots of praise if they take it willingly and the potential use of a bribe such as a sticker or little treat can be considered if they need more encouragement!
- For young babies use an oral syringe and slowly syringe the dose into the middle to back area of your baby’s cheek as this encourages them to swallow it. Don’t squeeze to much out too quickly as you may cause them to gag which will create a negative experience and make it twice as hard to administer the next time.
- If your baby is pushing the medicine away and you can’t get the syringe in their mouths try swaddling them in a towel to stop flailing arms from knocking the medicine away…this isn’t pleasant to do if your baby is upset so try to calm and reassure them as much as possible and ensure when syringing medicine to do small amounts and gently.
- Hiding the bottle is always a good idea so that they don’t have time to feel anticipation before your administer the medicine!
Some antibiotics can be mixed with food such as yoghurt or juice but not all! I thought it might be useful to make a little list for you but this is just to give you a general idea as drug company change the way they make the antibiotic formulations all the time and so PLEASE NOTE THIS LIST IS ONLY ACCURATE ON 9/2/2017. I contacted all of the manufacturers to see what stability data they had and this is what they said at the time. Equally if you are having difficulty getting your little one to take medicine you can ask your pharmacist to check with the manufacturer whether the medicine can be mixed or not and if so what with. Many of them are flavoured anyway so you might not need to disguise the taste at all! It’s important to remember that if you do mix the medicines as per the following informations you must do it immediately before giving the dose – basically dont mix it and then leave it sitting there for later – mix it right before you administer it. This is because there is not sufficient stability information about medicines after they have been mixed with food unless it is at the time of adminsitration.
Augmentin (Both DUO and Paediatric versions) – Can be mixed with food so long as it is immediately prior to administration.
Amoxil – Can be mixed with food so long as it is immediately prior to administration.
Calvepen – Can be mixed with fruit juice or yoghurt so long as mixed immediately prior to consumption and you can ensure whole dose will be taken.
Clonamox – Can be mixed with fruit juice or yoghurt so long as mixed immediately prior to consumption and you can ensure whole dose will be taken.
Distaclor – Can be mixed with fruit juice, yoghurt, jam, applesauce, or ice cream so long as mixed immediately prior to consumption and you can ensure whole dose will be taken.
Erythroped – Can be mixed with food so long as it is immediately prior to administration.
Flucloxacillin suspension and floxapen syrup – has to be taken half an hour before food.
Klacid Paediatric Suspension – Can be mixed with food so long as it is immediately prior to administration.
Monotrim – Cannot be mixed with food but may be mixed with some Ribena if consumed immediately after mixing and not stored.
Pinamox – Can be mixed with fruit juice or yoghurt so long as mixed immediately prior to consumption and you can ensure whole dose will be taken.
Zinnat – Cannot be mixed with food or juice.
Zithromax – Can be mixed with food so long as it is immediately prior to administration.
So please remember this list is just to give you an idea of what you may expect – it needs to be clarified with the manufacturer at the time of dispensing as manufacturing processes change and a variation could affect the stability of the medication.
My final tip…. Consider the use of a probiotic after a course of antibiotics as unfortunately antibiotics can decrease the levels of good bacteria which are in your gut which can result in digestive difficulties. My probiotic of choice is Biokult Infantis and is available from my pharmacy here: https://www.wonderbaba.ie/p/biokult_infantis_16pk_sachets
I hope you have found this blog helpful and if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact me by private message on the WonderBaba facebook page (www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) or at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 on 012600262.
Most recent review date – 9/2/17
References – All product SPC’s were reviewed on www.medicines.ie and all maufacturers were contacted.