Did you know that giving a child the wrong dosage of medicine happens more than you realize? According to a new study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, about 40 percent of parents accidentally give their children the wrong dose of medicine. Whether a parent is measuring out a liquid dose of children’s Tylenol, ibuprofen, another over-the-counter medicine or a prescription, it is likely that a parent may be using a kitchen spoon.
Although Mary Poppins sang about giving kids a spoonful of medicine, a spoonful of medicine may actually harm a child instead of helping. In fact, a spoonful of medicine is one of the most common ways to cause a dosing error. This is because there is a huge difference between a tablespoon and a teaspoon, and there is usually a difference in size between your kitchen spoons and your neighbor’s spoons. Because all spoons are not equal, authorities are urging parents to be more careful when giving their kids medications.
It’s easy for parents to grab a medicine bottle, pour the liquid medicine into a spoon, and have their children swallow the medicine—hoping to make them feel better. However, giving a child medicine from a spoon may lead to underdosing or overdosing. Because no parent wants to overdose their child, it is important that parents use the measuring device that comes with the medication. For example, the medicine could come with a dosing cup or syringe, which are better units of measurement to use than a spoon.
One other tip authorities recommend is that parents use a dosage chart to make sure they are giving their child the correct dose of liquid medicine based on their child’s weight and the type of medication. Thankfully, parents can access a dosage chart through an app called Kid’s Fever MD.
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