Height and Weight

Because it is important to know a child's height and weight when calculating medication doses, this information should be kept updated constantly.

medication, giving Parents are often called upon to administer medication to their children at home. When obtaining a prescription or buying over-the-counter medicine, parents should know the child's exact weight. Most over-the-counter medicines list a chart on the bottle or package that outlines how much medicine should be given, according to weight.

When giving medicine to a child, the parent should use a measuring spoon or the plastic calibrated cup that comes with the medicine, but not a kitchen teaspoon.

Medicine for children is of a different concentration than infant's preparations. They should never be mixed or substituted one for the other.

Many medicines in suspension should be refrigerated; all should be shaken well before administration.

Parents should always call the pediatrician if they are not sure of the dose, even if the pharmacist has provided written instructions. Parents should also immediately call either the pharmacist or pediatrician if they have any doubts about the medication. Parents should check the name on the pill with the prescription and check the dosage to make sure it seems correct. They should always read the label twice and never give medicine in the dark.

Even if the child is getting better, all of the prescribed medicine must be used. This is especially important with antibiotics. Failure to use all the medication can lead to relapse or another illness.

meningitis Any infection or inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, caused by either bacteria, virus, or fungi. Bacterial meningitis is by far the most serious type of meningitis, but most of the time the infectious agent is a virus.

Before 1992 most patients under age five were infected with Haemophilus influenzae. Today this type of meningitis has almost disappeared in children younger than five because of an effective vaccine. Pneumococcal meningitis (caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae) and meningococcal meningitis (caused by Neisseria meningitidis) are now the most common and serious types of bacterial meningitis.

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