Children: Learning outcomes

Last updated: Monday, May 16, 2022

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to:
  • Describe some of the most common questions about medicines that you are likely to face when your patient is a child.
  • Make decisions that are clinically appropriate and practical, and mindful of relevant legislation and expert guidance.  
  • Summarise the most common reasons for medication errors  in children.

You can download a PDF of the whole tutorial (without interactive elements such as the Learning exercises) and a one-page summary of key points.

You should allow 90 minutes to complete this tutorial, including the Learning exercises.


If you are a hospital trainee pharmacist, this tutorial may help you achieve GPhC learning outcomes such as these:

  • LO 12 Take an all-inclusive approach to ensure the most appropriate course of action based on clinical, legal and professional considerations
  • LO 16 Apply professional judgement in all circumstances, taking legal and ethical reasoning into account
  • LO 26 Consider the quality, risks and safety associated with medicines and products and take appropriate action when producing and supplying [and prescribing] them
  • LO 29 Apply the principles of clinical therapeutics, pharmacology and genomics to make effective use of medicines for people [including in their prescribing practice]
  • LO 30  Appraise the evidence base and apply clinical reasoning and professional judgement to make safe and logical decisions which minimise risk and optimise outcomes for the person

If you are a foundation pharmacist, this tutorial may assist with meeting certain competencies from the RPS framework including:

  • 1.1 Applies evidence-based clinical knowledge to make suitable recommendations or take appropriate actions 
  • 1.6 Uses own pharmaceutical knowledge to positively impact the usage and stewardship of medicines at an individual and population level.
  • 1.7 Undertakes a holistic clinical review of a person’s medicines to ensure they are appropriate.
  • 2.1 Keeps the individual at the centre of their approach to care at all times.
  • 3.1 Draws upon own knowledge and up-to-date guidance to effectively make decisions appropriately and with confidence.
  • 3.2 Critically appraises appropriate information to make a decision in an efficient and systematic manner; adopts evidence-informed solutions.
  • 3.3 Demonstrate awareness of where to seek appropriate information to solve problems and make decisions. 
  • 3.5 Manages uncertainty and possible risk appropriately, while ensuring high attention to detail is maintained when making decisions regarding the individual receiving care.
  • 6.5 Uses effective questioning when working with individuals receiving care or other healthcare professionals.

Continuing professional development

Finally, here are some CPD activities you could consider:

★  Speaking to a parent or child on long-term medicines. Ask them about their experience of taking medicines, how it impacts upon their lives and any challenges they may face.
★  Shadowing your paediatric pharmacist on a ward round or multi-disciplinary team meeting. Ask them to help you choose a patient who requires their medicines optimising and work through this together.
★  Reviewing the errors and near misses from your Trust that involve children and medicines. Are there any common themes? How could these be avoided?