Intramuscular injections: Injecting at home

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A guide on giving your child injections into the muscle (intramuscular) at home.

Key points

  • An intramuscular (IM) injection is giving medicine with a needle into the muscle.
  • The injection site varies with the age of your child.
  • The size of the needle depends on the weight of your child and the type of drug they are taking.
  • When injecting, hold the shaft of the syringe in dart fashion. Insert needle directly through the skin at a right angle (90° angle) into the muscle.
  • Give the injection quickly, and do not pull back on the plunger before injecting as this causes more pain.
  • Discard the needle and syringe in a thick, plastic bottle or sharps container with a lid. Bring it to your local pharmacy for disposal.
  • Do not discard the needle in your regular garbage.
Last updated: October 4th 2019