What is the best intramuscular injection site for infants and small children?

Expert Answers
besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are generally four sites that can be used to give an intramuscular injection. These are the dorsogluteal muscle which is the rear end, the vastus lateralis muscle which is the thigh, the deltoid muscle which is in the upper arm, and the ventrogluteal muscle which is in the hip.

The best muscle to use for infants and small children is the vastus lateralis muscle in the thigh. This is the best choice because this muscle has an adequate amount of muscle mass and fat. If another muscle is used it could be possible that the needle will be over-inserted and one of two things may happen. The first is that the delivery of the vaccination could be compromised and the second is that the needle could hit the bone and this causes severe pain.

A twenty two to twenty five gauge needle is best and the needle needs to be inserted at a ninety degree angle.

pmv51266 | Student

The best site to inject intramuscularly for small children is the vastus lateralis. It is located at the anterior lateral view within the middle or upper thigh region.

The vastus lateralis is considered the safest site to inject intramuscularly at birth and until 36th month of age; wherein it has an appropriate muscle mass for the needle to penetrate enable to reach in the muscle tissue. Needle to be used must be gauge ranges from 23-25 in 7/8" to 1" in size. All infant will undergone intramuscular injection and it is this site recommended that the drugs should be administered; such as the hepatitis vaccine, and the diphtheria, polio and tetanus vaccine.

When the child reach beyond 36 months of age, deltoid muscles already become dense and massive. It is located above the armpit just the border end of both sides of shoulder. In this site, the intramuscular injection is already considered in administering drugs specifically the tetanus toxoid vaccine. Needle to be used will still be the same gauge range, 23-25 in a 1" to 2" in size.

patelmilia98 | Student

their upper thigh

pianomanjay1 | Student
Often small children and infants are given Intramuscular (IM) injections in the hip / upper leg and also in the backside. The point of a IM injection is to inject medication into a large muscle so it is easily released into the blood stream. If a injection is given shallow, in the fatty part of the the skin, the medicine will sit in a pocket and become very sore. Some medicines are intended to be injected in this area, these are called subcutaneous (Sub-Q) injections.
jjrichardson | Student

I just wanted to add that the vastus lateralis is the only site that should be used for an infant or toddler that has not been walking for at least 6 months because the gluteals are not developed enough yet, and the deltoid is just too small at this age. I have never seen the dorsal gluteal used in anyone as of yet.

sobiamujeeb | Student

their buttocks (thigh muscles area)

sujikalai75 | Student

for infants lateral aspect of the upper thigh,for children outer aspect of the upper gluteal region.

peice33 | Student

I have 4 children and they have a wonderful pediatrician and nurse, the nurse always administer the medication in the upper thigh , the fattest part she squeezes then injects.

loraaa | Student

thank you for this Q and A. 

anitakir2lyne | Student

The best intramuscular injection site for infants is the ventrogluteal, which is a point on the gluteus medias muscle that extends from the iliac crest to the greater trochanter.

To find the ventrogluteal injection site, place you hand palm down and directly over the greater trochanter, with the finger tips just a little lower than the pelvic crest. The patient should be turned on his or her side. Your thumb should be lined at the edge of the thigh.

The ventrogluteal injection site should be somewhere between your index and middle finger.

ella301 | Student

The ventrogluteal. The ventrogluteal or commonly referred to as the butt muscle involves the gluteus medius and minimus. This is the site preferred for all humans because is away from major nerves and blood vessels.

spatrickdavis | Student

their upper thigh; fatty part

cllebeau | Student

The ventrogluteal.  The ventrogluteal or commonly referred to as the butt muscle involves the gluteus medius and minimus. This is the site preferred for all humans because is away from major nerves and blood vessels.

sid-sarfraz | Student

What is the best intramuscular injection site for infants and small children?

The best intramuscular injection site for infants is lateral thigh or the outer area of thigh. The injection needle must be deep enough as to go deeply in the muscle. Normally nowadays the size of injection depends on the child's size.

Where as in young children the intramuscular injection site can be deltoid muscle, outer side of thigh or buttocks, depending on the size and age of the child.

taangerine | Student

For infants and small children, the best intramuscular injection site is the thigh, or anywhere with a large surface. 

user6393781 | Student

The safety of intramuscular injection into the gluteal region of infants and children.  In adult medicine the relatively large surface area and bulk of the gluteal muscles make this the preferred site for intramuscular injection.  In other words...the butt and or thigh.

rohankapoor | Student

injection shud be saline glucose solution.............

loraaa | Student

I am sorry

 I am support with 1 and 2, good answer.

rohankapoor | Student

gluteal region means hip.....

rohankapoor | Student

even superolateral gluteal region.........

rohankapoor | Student

anterior part of thigh in the femoral vein

rohankapoor | Student

anterior part of thigh in the femoral vein

mrso9706 | Student

The anterolateral thigh (vastus laterus) is the preferred site for IM injection in infants under 12 months of age. It causes less discomfort and will not hit any nerves. The insertion of the needle should be at a 90 degree angle in relation to the knee in infants and young children. This site is the standard for infants and young children because it is the safest and largest muscle they possess. The size of the needle can be 22 - 25 gauge and the length of the needle can be 5/8 to 1 inch. When choosing needle size consider the person, if they are tiny like an infant would be go with a 5/8 inch needle.  The reason is because even if you find the correct site by locating all of the landmarks associated with the vastus lateralis injection site you could still inject to deeply and hit bone or a nerve. Main advantage of this site is that the muscle is normally well developed even in infants and children.  The amount of fluid should not exceed 2.0ml for children older than 1 year.  Fluid should not exceed 1.0ml in infants. Some disadvantages include the possible formation of a thrombosis in the femol artery.  This is only possible by not locating the landmarks associated with the vastus lateralis injection. Hope it helps.

mocking123 | Student

their back