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Always follow dosage instructions.

Some medication dosages are based on weight and some are based on age, so be sure to follow what the package recommends. For those based on a child’s age, it’s a good idea to consult with your child’s doctor if your child is very light or very heavy for his age. That way, you can be sure that you are giving the right amount of medicine. Also, never give more than the recommended dose.

Only use the dosing tool that comes with the medication.

Never use a kitchen spoon or a dosing cup from a different medicine to give your child medication. Kitchen spoons can vary in size, as can dosing cups, so you can’t be sure that you’re giving the correct amount. If you misplace the dosing device that came with the medicine, you can talk to your pharmacist. Just be sure that the markings on the dosing device match the dose listed in the Drug Facts box on the medication label.

Know your measurement abbreviations.

When reading the label, be sure you can tell the difference between a tablespoon (tbsp) and a teaspoon (tsp), as well as between a milligram (mg), milliliter (mL), and ounce (oz).

Don’t give medicine to your child in the dark.

Children are often sick at night, so it’s not unusual to be half awake and fumbling for medicine in the dark. Take a minute to turn on the lights and put on your glasses, if you wear them, so that you can clearly read the medicine label and dosing device.

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