A new study in Pediatrics, a publication of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), shows that a surprisingly large percentage of adults give the wrong dosages of medications to children and infants.
Incorrect dosages can be harmful, even dangerous. When the pediatrician writes a prescription or recommends an over-the-counter drug, they take into account a child’s health, age, size and other factors, including other medications he may be taking. It’s important to be accurate when dispensing those meds.
The main problem, according to the study, has to do with measuring.
- Adults who measured with teaspoons and tablespoons were twice as likely to make errors as those who used milliliters as their measuring standard.
- Never just pull out a spoon from your flatware or plastic ware to measure medicine. These spoons can vary widely in the amount of liquid they hold.
- Purchase a measuring instrument (dropper or spoon) in the pharmacy department of your discount or grocery store. Make sure it uses milliliters for measurement.
- Measure accurately.
- Keep a written record of when you’ve given a medication and how much. Many people unintentionally create problems when one person in the household dispenses a drug, not knowing that someone else has already given the medicine.
If you’re ever unsure about a dosage, call your pediatrician’s office. Safety with drugs, whether prescription or OTC, is essential.
© 2014, MBS Writing Services, all rights reserved