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Are you accidentally overdosing them?
July 17, 2014 at 10:09 AM

How You're Probably Overdosing Your Kid With Medicine -- Without Realizing It

by Jeanne Sager

dosing medicine with spoonIt's midnight, you have a sobbing toddler in the grips of some serious teething pain in your arms, and you can't figure out the right dose of pain relief medicine for your kiddo. Feeling desperate? You're not alone.

A new study of calls to poison control has revealed some 10,000 come in every year over liquid medication dosage errors. Turns out parents are unwittingly overdosing their own kids on common medications.

A LOT of parents.

The study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics estimates 41.1 percent of parents make an error in measuring what their doctor has prescribed to their kids.

That's closing in on half of all parents screwing up on dosing out their kids' medications!

Some of the concerns come down to sheer stupidity (hey, if the shoe fits!) or at the very least a lack of attention being paid to the dosing descriptions. Researchers found parents seem to use teaspoon, tablespoon, and milliliter interchangeably, despite the fact that these measurements are very different.

Ahem, parents? You may not actually be smarter than a fifth grader!

The other problem? A ton of parents seem to think the kitchen spoon is just as good as one of those little dosing cups at measuring out medicine. Unfortunately, not all spoons are the same size, and parents who opt for that old-fashioned method are putting their kids at major risk.

The AAP is calling for a standard system, whereby every single medication for kids is dosed out in milliliters, with the hopes that parents won't get confused.

Hey, it could work. The rest of the world uses the metric system quite well.

Then again, we could just ask parents to use a little common sense ... and actually read directions on their kids' medicine. After all, we're not talking about an IKEA bookshelf here. We're talking about our children's health.

You don't wing it when it comes to your kids' health. You read the darn instructions, and you use the darn dosing cup. And if you can't figure it out, talk to the pharmacist. That's what they're there for. There are no stupid questions ... not when your child's health is on the line.

Do you have a hard time dosing your kids' medicine? Is it time for a change?


  • Serabeth06
    July 17, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    Wow. Sad. Nope, I've never had a hard time dosing kids' medicine. They even put a little chart on the back of kids' medicines, I figured that was pretty fool-proof. I didn't realize it was so difficult.

  • quickbooksworm
    July 17, 2014 at 11:28 AM
    I think when it comes to meds, we have crying babies, children with scary high fevers, and kids sick in the middle of the night. Yes, we could use some common sense but perhaps the measuring cups could be labeled more clearly. I have seen the measuring cups with teaspoons on the same side as milliliters and the marks are hard to read at noon when I'm not sleep deprived. Its an easy mistake anyone can make. I don't see why we need multiple units of measurement all crammed together. Just pick one, its easier and safer.

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