Sub Q injection (1104)

Key points below

What is a sub Q injection?

Some medicines need to be given as a shot (injection).  The shot that your child needs is called subcutaneous (sub Q).  This means under the skin and into the fat.

What supplies do I need?

Steps to follow

1. Wash your hands with soap and water.
If you have a pre-filled syringe, go to step 9.
2. Wipe the top of the medicine bottle with alcohol.
3. Take the cover off the needle.
4. Pull air into the syringe equal to the amount of medicine you will give to your child.  
5. Push the needle into the medicine bottle, and then push the air in.
6. Keeping the needle in the bottle, turn the bottle upside down.  Have one hand on the bottle and one hand on the syringe.  
7. Pull the plunger back, filling the syringe halfway.   Look for any air bubbles. If air bubbles are seen, slowly push the medicine back into the bottle and repeat Steps #6 and #7.
8. If there are no air bubbles, slowly pull back the plunger to the correct dose.   Important: Do not tap the syringe while in the vial to get the bubbles out.  This bends the needle.   A bent needle can break off in the skin.  If the needle bends, start over.
9. Wash the area getting the shot with soap and water.
10. Loosely pinch the area where you will give the shot.   You may need another person to help if your child can not hold still.  Good places to give the shot are the:

Your nurse will show you where to give the shots and how to position the needle. 

11. With the other hand, hold the syringe like a pencil.
12. Quickly and firmly, push the needle into the skin.
13. Push the plunger all the way down, so the medicine goes in.
14. Let go of the skin, and then take the needle out.
15. Throw syringe and needle away in the sharps box or other container.   Do not put the needle in your garbage.  
16. Return the medicine to a safe place out of reach of children.
17. Write down the time and where your child received the shot (like, left arm or right arm.) This is so you can remember to give the next shot in a different spot.

What your child will feel


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child:

  • Has an allergic reaction after getting the medicine such as a rash or trouble breathing.  Call 9-1-1 right away if this happens.
  • Gets hot and red on the site where you gave the shot.
  • Has been given the wrong dose of medicine.
  • Has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.