Organizing Medications

ORGANIZING YOUR CHILD’S MEDICINES

NOTE: This page has been updated - the links are now working properly.

Having your child’s medicines organized makes life easier and is essential to giving. 
Follow this Step-By-Step guide to make it easy!  

Free Download: 24-Hour Care & Medicine Schedule

GOALS:

ü     All medicines, their dosages and times they need to be given, written in on a schedule for daily follow-through. 

ü     All medicines set-up so they are easy to pack in case of travel or emergency.

ü     Have a system in place to double-check that you are giving the correct dosages at the right times. 

Things You Will Need: 

q      A Medicine Schedule ( with 24-Hour Care Schedule - free download – or make your own)

q      A portable container for non-refrigerated medications

q      An insulated carrying case and freezer pack for refrigerated medicines, if needed

STEP-BY-STEP: 

1.              Make sure you understand your child’s medication(s) – what it is for, the possible side-effects, and the dosages and times your child should be getting the medication.  Your child’s doctor and your pharmacist can help you with this information.  Understand the instructions and how to give the medicine (if it’s oral, how to draw it into an oral syringe or properly measure it, etc.)

2.              Get a portable container for your child’s medications. If you are not able to get something new, try a large plastic food storage container with a lid, last year’s school lunch box – whatever, as long as it holds the medications and can be easily grabbed and taken with you should you need to leave in an emergency. For refrigerated medicines, keep them together on a shelf, or in a container for easy access.

3.              Get an insulated one for traveling with refrigerated medications, along with a freezer pack to keep the medication(s) cold. You only need to do this if your child has medicines that must be refrigerated.

4.              Download and print out our free Medicine Schedule, or make your own schedule.  We have a Daily Medicine Schedule, if your schedule is the same each day, a Weekly Medicine Schedule if your child’s medicines vary throughout the week, and a Monthly Medicine Schedule for complicated medicine scheduling, such as chemotherapy.

5.              Write down the dosages, times of day, and/or day(s) of the week your child should receive the medication.  Some children have complicated medicine schedules with multiple medications that are given at different times of day, etc.  It can be very confusing without good organization. 

6.              Double check your work – make sure you get everything written down correctly. If you are not sure about something on the schedule at this point, or have any questions, ask your child’s doctor.  You may wish to have someone else double-check your work, just to be sure!

7.              Post your Medicine Schedule where you can see it while getting together your child’s medications.

8.              If you have started your child’s Care Notebook, place a Medicine Schedule in there as well.  This is what you will take with you to the Doctor’s office, so you will have everything you need written down, and can make changes to this schedule during the appointment, as directed.

9.              If you have several pills to give every day, you can get a pill sorter for each daily dose and carefully sort them for the whole week at one time.  If your child’s medication only comes in a pill, but your child can only take liquid medications, check with your doctor and pharmacist for suggestions on crushing and mixing your child’s pills into a liquid form each time you give it.

10.           Double-check your work each time against your Medicine Schedule when you give the medication.  Mistakes can happen, even when you are careful and conscientious, which is why nursing staff will double check medicines with each other before giving them to a patient.  It is a good practice to adopt, if you can, especially if your child’s medication schedule is complicated.

11.           Put the time(s) for your child's medication(s) on your daily schedule or To Do list.  If you have an electronic calendar, you can put alarms in for your child’s medication times – if you have a paper to do list – you can add this everyday and give it top priority. You can also get and set a special timer, or a watch timer, for medications if there are multiple schedules and medications.

ANOTHER OPTION: Your child may have a very simple, once or twice a day medication schedule.  If this is the case, make sure this is included daily on your personal to do list.  Set a computer alarm or other timer to remind you to give the medication on time, if needed.

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