Routes of Medication Administration for your Child

There are several routes of medication administration for your child as their needs change. Always speak with your health care provider (HCP) before giving any medication a different way than originally ordered by your provider.  If you feel that your child could benefit from a different route of medication administration speak with your child’s HCP or Canuck Place.  You will be provided teaching by either your community team or Canuck Place prior to using a new route to give your child the medication needed.


If your child is able to safely swallow you can give then their medications by mouth.  Sometimes pills can be crushed or capsules can be sprinkled and you can give with applesauce, pudding or yogurt. *Always check with your HCP or pharmacist to ensure it is safe to do so with each medication*


If your child is unable to swallow they may have an NG or a Gtube. You can dissolve the medications separately in water and use a syringe to give them in the tube. 


There are a few medications that you can place under the tongue in small volumes (safe even if your chid is unable to swallow). Examples of this are: Ativan, Midazolam, Morphine and Fentanyl.


Using a special medication administration device to give the medication through the nares, medications such as Midazolam, Ativan and Fentanyl can be given. This requires additional equipment and teaching which would be provided if your child would benefit from it.


If your child is having difficulty swallowing, is too sleepy or is vomiting some medications can be given rectally ( for example, Gravol and Tylenol come in a suppository form which can be given in the anus). Other medications can be crushed up and given rectally using a small tube in the anus. *There are some instances where the rectal route is not recommended – please speak with your HCP or CP prior to using this route*


Medication can also be delivered via a patch that is placed on the skin and then slowly absorbed into the blood stream through the skin (example Fentanyl).


If your child is unable to swallow, too sleepy or not tolerating other routes of medication administration; a small catheter is placed in an area such as the thigh and IV medication can be given as needed or continuously via a CADD  pump to alleviate pain, anxiety, difficulty breathing or seizures. 


If your child is in severe discomfort or distress and has IV access (PICC, VAD or Central Line) medication can be directly into the blood stream. This can be used as needed or via a CADD pump to give the medication continuously.

*If you have any questions call the APN’s at 604-742-3478*

Routes of medication administration for your child msword 178.50 kb