Most people use domestic spoons for measuring liquid medications. But, is it the correct way of giving medicine to your child or taking it yourself? Health experts say, a spoon from your silverware drawer should not be used to measure oral liquid medicine doses. They add that it will lead to serious drug-dosing errors. Incorrect doses (both giving too much and too little) can be hazardous. Under dosing may not effectively treat an illness and can lead to medication-resistant infections in case of antibiotics, while overdoses may cause illness or side effects that can be life threatening.
Recent studies show that most parents use domestic spoons for the purpose, which leads to potentially dangerous dosing mistakes. Researchers say, the variations between the domestic spoon sizes have no relation to the proper calibrated spoons included in many commercially available children's medicines.
AdvertisementTo avoid health risks, parents are urged to use droppers and syringes (which measure in milliliters) to dispense liquid medication to children. This method is also more useful if kids are very young or hesitant to take medicine, as a spoon can be pushed away and the medicine spilt, leaving the parent unsure about how much the child has actually taken.
Low-cost medicine syringes are widely available from pharmacists and easy to use. Also, using them will give parents greater confidence that they have dispensed the correct dose.
Experts also suggest that adults should avoid using domestic spoons for dispensing medication to themselves. Although adults do not face the same risk levels as children, they are advised to use properly calibrated spoons or cups if they take any liquid medicine.
Liquid Medication Instructions
People are urged to read all instructions before taking liquid medication. The instructions will be on the bottle, on the box or on a paper inside the package. Follow them carefully. You must check if you need to shake the medicine before taking it.
Also check if the medicine should be taken on an empty stomach, if the medicine should be taken with food, and what are the side effects to watch for. It is important when taking liquid medication that you or your child are sitting up or standing. Never take medication while lying down. It is possible to choke if you take medication lying down.