Most Parents Give Kids Wrong Doses
Written by Editor   
Saturday, July 15, 2017 03:27 AM

Parents often make measurement errors with their children’s medications.  According to results from a randomized trial involving nearly 500 parents, a large majority (83.5%) made at least one dosing error. Almost one third made at least one large error, the researchers found. Among all errors, 12% involved an overdose.

But when parents had dosing implements closely matched to prescribed dose volumes, the error rate was much lower.

“Giving a parent a dosing tool, like an oral syringe, that is the right size, can have a big impact on whether a parents will dose a medication accurately. If the tool is too large, parents are more likely to overdose. If the tool is too small to allow the parent to measure the full dose with a single measurement, then parents will need to use math skills to figure out how to accurately measure more than one instrument-full, which increases the likelihood of a dosing error.” 

The researchers found that parents who received text and pictogram dosing instructions with "mL"-only labels and tools had decreased odds of making a dosing error compared with those who received "mL/tsp" labels and tools with or without pictographic dosing instructions.