According to a study report in the U.S, four out of five parents make dosing errors while giving liquid medications to their children.
Children are usually prescribed with liquid medications for treatment as it is easier to swallow when compared to pills. Most of the doses for children are calculated according to body weight.
‘Oral syringes with accurate markings can be used for measuring liquid medications in children.’
About two-thirds of the medication errors were due to overdose of the drug.
Dr. Shonna Yin, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Newyork University School of Medicine said that often errors may lead to overdoses and sometimes too little medicine may also result in inefficient treatment.
Dr. Blair Hammond, an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Icahn School of Medicine said that too little medicine may usually occur in the case of antibiotic treatment, especially when correct dose of medication is required.
The research study was published in the journal Pediatrics.
About 2,110 parents of children at the age of 8 or younger measured nine doses of liquid medication randomly. The measurements were taken from milliliters, teaspoon, dosing cups and oral syringes.
Wrong doses were given at about 43% of time while using dosing cups for measurement compared to 16% of time while using oral syringes.
The errors recorded using dosing cups were four times more compared to oral syringes. About 85% of the parents who participated made atleast one error in the nine trials with 68% being overdose cases.
The only drawback of the study was it could not explain acccurately how parents dispense medicines for children at home and the experiment did not assess errors that were recorded while using an ordinary spoon or silverware instead of proper dosing tools.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has also recommended the use of dosing tools with proper markings like oral syringes for measuring liquid medications.