In the News: Medicine Dosages for Kids
"Many parents are making dosing errors when giving medicine to their children"
Pop Quiz: What's the best tool to use to dispense liquid medicine to your child?
B. Measuring cup
D. Just eyeball it and pray
Hopefully you chose C for your answer, now let's get into why. Researchers have found that oral syringes are the gold standard for delivering medicine to a sick child in order to reduce the chance of making a dosing error. In a study, parents who used measuring cups were 4 times more likely to make a mistake when compared to those using a syringe! The majority of errors made when dosing, resulted in overdosing, in fact 68% of those studied poured too much medicine! Overdosing can be especially harmful in a child's small body.
Confusion for parents comes from non-standardized dosing information. One medicine may give instructions using teaspoon measurements, but the measuring cup that accompanies the medicine has milliliters. Also, a parent may be used to measuring in teaspoons for one brand of medicine and switch to another brand which uses milliliters. The parent may overlook this detail or not recognize the need to switch the measurement tools.
Researchers recommend that parents always use syringes, specifically only those with milliliter measurements, when giving children liquid medicine. If your medicine, comes with a cup rather than a syringe, it is cheap and easy to purchase a syringe from your local pharmacy. Another suggestion is to ask the pharmacist if he/she has a syringe he/she can give you, some may provide it for free.
Always make sure to read instructions before giving your child medicine. If you have questions consult your doctor or pharmacist. Learn the signs and symptoms of overdose and if there are any, do not hesitate to take your child to the emergency room.
Want to read the full CNN article? Click here
Want to read the full research report? Click here
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