Paediatric Prescribing


Good prescribing skills are needed by any practicing doctor. Prescribing in paediatrics has some important differences to prescribing in adults.


During this chapter and throughout the e-book you will be asked to undertake a series of prescribing exercises on both drug charts and fluid charts.  You can perform these on the drug chart that is used in your local hospital or on the RRAPID drug and fluid charts. These have been designed specially for this e-book and should not be used for clinical work.

Drug chart – click here to download
Fluid chart – click here to download

Paediatric patients range in age from neonates born at extreme prematurity through to adolescents and in some cases young adults. Decisions regarding treatment and drug dosages depend upon body composition, pathophysiology and metabolism. However, the main factors influencing paediatric prescribing are:
   • Age
   • Weight
   • Surface area

You should always check an up to date British National Formulary for Children (BNFc) or local guidelines for up to date prescribing guidance.

Prescribing can be challenging so it is usually good to approach prescriptions with caution and consider the following questions: