A recent insight has pointed out that instructions on boxes and bottles of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are not clear and therefore is confusing for the parents to understand and follow.
"There is an unacceptable amount of inconsistency in labels and measuring devices of OTC liquid medications for children," said H. Shonna Yin, assistant professor of pediatrics at NYU School of Medicine who co-led the study.
"These types of inconsistencies are likely to be a source of confusion for parents and can lead to errors in dosing, placing children at risk," Yin said.
The researchers reviewed 200 top-selling pediatric oral liquid OTC medications categorized as analgesics, cough/cold, allergy, or gastrointestinal medicines - representing 99 percent of the U.S. market of these products.
They found that 25 percent of these products did not include dosing devices, such as a cup or dropper for giving the medicine, and that 99 percent had directions on the bottle's label and dose markings on the device that do not match.
In addition, more than half the products did not use standard abbreviations for terms such as teaspoon or milliliter.
The study appeared in the December 1 issue of JAMA.