How to give your child tablets or capsules - video podcast

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Tablets or capsules are often prescribed for a variety of reasons, some types need to be taken whole, but others can be crushed and mixed with yogurt

How to give you child whole tablets or capsules:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  2. Remove the required number of tables from the bottle and put them in a plastic cup.
  3. Ask your child to rest one tablet or capsule on their tongue.
  4. Give them a drink from a normal cup – without a spout. The tablet or capsule should be washed down and swallowed along with the drink.
  5. Repeat steps two-four until you child had taken the whole dose.

How to crush tablets or empty capsules and give them as a mixture:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  2. Remove the required number of tables from the bottle and put them in a plastic cup.
  3. If you’re giving a tablet then put it into the tablet crusher and screw the top on tightly, open up the tablet crusher and empty the crushed tablet back into the plastic cup. If you’re giving a capsule – hold it over the plastic cup and gently pull the two halves apart so that the contents fall into the plastic cup.
  4. Mix the crushed tablet or capsule contents with a tea spoon of yogurt. Make sure that you mix it well so that there aren’t any lumps.
  5. Feed the yogurt mixture to you child.
  6. Give your child a drink to wash it down.

How to give a proportion of a crushed tablet to give the correct dose:

  1. Measure a specific volume of water in a plastic cup.
  2. If you’re giving a tablet – put it on the tablet crusher and screw to top on tightly, open up the tablet crusher and empty the crushed tablet back into the plastic cup.
  3. Let the tablet disperse in the water.
  4. Draw up the proportion using an oral syringe and give it to your child.

The medicine label will tell you what proportion you need, but here’s an example: If your child needs to take a 50mg dose each day but 50mg tablets aren’t available, you need to give a proportion of a 75mg tablet. Disperse one 75mg tablet in 15ml of water, draw up 10ml of the liquid and give to your child. Make sure you throw the rest of the liquid away.

Always use a new tablet each time unless otherwise directed.

How to look after you child’s tablets or capsules:

  • Store the tablets or capsules out of direct sunlight.
  • Read the instructions and only use the tablets or capsules as instructed.
  • Keep all medicines out of the reach of children.
  • Check the expiry date on the medicine before you give it to your child.
  • If it’s past its expiry date, or your child stops using it, please return it to your pharmacist – do not flush it down the toilet or throw it away.

Ref: F060439 © GOSH Trust September 2006
Compiled by the Pharmacy department in collaboration with the Child and Family Information Group. 

This information does not constitute health or medical advice and will not necessarily reflect treatment at other hospitals. If you have any questions, please ask your doctor. No liability can be taken as a result of using this information.