Medication Administration: Subcutaneous

Medication Administration: Subcutaneous


  • Assess the child’s previous experience with injections.

  • Prepare the child, as appropriate to cognitive level, and family for the injection before administration.

    imageKidKare Enlist the child’s cooperation by having the child hold the bandage. Tell the child that it is okay to yell or cry and that his or her job is to stay as still as possible.

  • Provide therapeutic play as indicated, or involve a child life specialist, to allow the child to work through his or her fears and master control of the situation.

  • Assess for drug and latex allergies; if present, implement latex precautions and notify healthcare prescriber of drug allergy. Label child’s record and apply identification band indicating allergies.

  • Use a topical anesthetic (e.g., EMLA, LMX4, vapocoolant) if injection is painful and when time allows to reduce pain and trauma of injection (see Chapter 7).

  • Position the child upright, have family member hold infant upright to reduce pain perception.

TABLE 71-1 Needle Length and Size Recommendations for Subcutaneous Injectiona



Amount of Infusion

Adolescent or adult

½ to 5/8 inch


0.5-1 mL

Obese person

7/8 inch


0.5-1 mL

Infant or child

3/8 inch


No more than 0.1 mL for intradermal

No more than 0.5 mL for subcutaneous to small child or 1 mL to preschool-aged or school-aged child

aaRecommended sizes for insulin needles are 4 mm, 5 mm, 6 mm lengths and 29-31 gauge.

Jul 9, 2020 | Posted by in NURSING | Comments Off on Medication Administration: Subcutaneous

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