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Using a Medicine Spoon or Dropper

Use a medicine spoon or dropper that has markings on it to measure your child’s liquid medicine. The pharmacy may give you a medicine spoon or dropper with your child’s medicine. You can also buy the spoon or dropper at the drug store and use it for measuring liquid medicines. 

The markings on the spoon or dropper help you measure the correct amount of medicine. Do not use other spoons that you have in your home without markings as they may cause you to give the wrong amount of medicine which is not safe.

Using the Spoon

  1. Open the medicine bottle. 
  2. Hold the medicine spoon up and find the marking for the amount of medicine or dose needed. There are 2 different measurements, teaspoon (tsp.) and milliliter (ml.), as shown on the pictures of the spoon. (1 teaspoon = 5 milliliters.) Find the measurement that matches the dose you need. 
  3. Slowly pour the medicine from the bottle into the spoon to the mark for the amount needed. Set the bottle of medicine down. 
  4. Place the tip of the spoon in the child’s mouth like a feeding spoon and give the medicine. Be sure the child is sitting up when giving the medicine. 
  5. Clean the medicine spoon by washing it with warm water and mild soap. Rinse it well with clean water and let it air dry on a clean towel. 

Using the Dropper 

You may want to first practice using the dropper with water to get used to how it works. Be careful not to pull the medicine up into the bulb of the dropper.

  1. Open the medicine bottle. 
  2. Pick up the dropper and find the mark on the dropper for the amount or dose of medicine needed. There are 

2 different measurements, teaspoon (tsp.) and milliliter (ml.), as shown on the pictures of the dropper. (1 teaspoon = 5 milliliters.) Find the measurement that matches the dose you need. 

  1. Squeeze the bulb end and put the tip of the dropper into the medicine bottle. 
  2. Slowly let pressure off of the bulb. You will see the medicine being pulled up into the dropper.
  3. When you get the medicine pulled up to the mark of the amount needed, pull the dropper tip out of the liquid and let the pressure off of the bulb. 
  4. Check that the medicine is to the right mark for the amount needed. Squeeze the bulb to either remove extra medicine or to pull up more medicine if needed. 
  5. Place the dropper tip into the child’s mouth like a feeding spoon and gently squeeze to release the medicine. Be sure the child is sitting up when giving the medicine. For very young children, it may work best to put the tip in towards their cheek, so they do not push the medicine out with their tongue. 
  6. Remove the bulb from the dropper and wash both pieces with warm water and mild soap. Rinse the pieces well with clean water and then let the pieces air dry on a clean towel. 

Medicine Safety 

  • Be sure to keep all medicines and the medicine spoon or dropper out of the reach of children for safety. 
  • Check the dose amount. It may vary from one child to another based on the child’s weight or age. 
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure how to give any medicine to your child. You need to be sure you know:
  • What medicine and how much you should give your child. 
  • How often you should give the medicine. 
  • How long you should give the medicine. Some medicine may only be given for a few days. Other medicine may need to be given for years to treat long term problems.

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