INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Making sure you are giving your children the right amount of medicine every time can be difficult for most parents. A new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics found a majority of parents will make a mistake when measuring medicine dosage.
Researches asked around 500 parents with children ages eight and younger to give their kids the proper dosage of medicine. What the study found is 80 percent of parents got it wrong at least once, and that can lead to more problems for kids.
Researchers wanted to study poorly designed labels and dosing tools which contribute to dosing errors. Out of those nearly 500 parents in the study, they found the fewest mistakes happened when the proper dosing tool was being used.
Doctors suggest that if you have a 7.5 milliliter dose, use a 10 milliliter syringe instead of a 5 milliliter syringe. If you need less than five milliliters, use a five milliliters syringe. Do not use the standard tablespoon, teaspoon or dosing cup. Doctor of Pharmacy Kathryn Taylor at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health says parents are more accurate with the right tool.
“When you pick up your prescription, make sure you understand with your physician and pharmacist how much medication you’re supposed to give,” said Taylor. “Then talk to your pharmacist about which dosing device would be best in order to provide the medication. Then when you’re at home and you’re individually pulling up the dose, try to pull it in a good lighting. You don’t want to do it at night, in dim lighting. Make sure you know exactly how much you’re giving.”
Researchers say the findings are being used to help develop labeling/dosing improvements for liquid medications. They are also now testing improvements in a “real world” trial. You always want to talk to a provider to make sure you know what the label says and also they say if you make a mistake, you can call poison control office at 1-800-222-1222.