All parents are concerned about their children’s health. When their babies get sick, it is a nightmare for any parent. However, the first aid kit and the medicine supplies must always be prepared. Despite their excessive care, a new study suggests that most parents give their kids wrong medicine doses.
The new study shows that parents tend to miscalculate the medication doses, especially when it comes to liquid substances. The result is that children are being administered more medicine than necessary for their condition. According to the research, one out of five parents gives children the wrong medicine doses.
The researchers in charge of the study put parents to a simple test. They were asked to establish the right amount of medicine which might have been administered to a child. The researchers observed that using teaspoons or dosing cups parents were most likely to miscalculate the doses. The risk for that to happen was four times higher than by using standard tools. This is why specialists recommend that parents should always use oral syringes when it comes to liquid medicine.
The authors of the study also noted that parents who are not native English speakers are prone to make such mistakes. As suggestions and administration advice are written on the medicines’ labels, they might be confused by the specialized terms, abbreviations or unit mismatches. In other words, these mistakes are also due to low levels of health literacy.
However, the experiments carried out by researchers showed that the main factor of wrong medicine doses is not using the proper tools. Regardless of the language spoken or the level of health literacy, overdosing is common when using other tools than special syringes.
The team of researchers put both parents and caretakers to the test. The results showed that more than eighty percent of the participants made mistakes with the quantity of liquid medicine that was to be administered to children. The scientists also noted that people tend to pour more medicine rather than too little, although both types of mistake have been recorded.
Parents should pay attention to the doctors’ suggestions. As many drugs addressing children are liquid substances rather than pills, there is a high risk that they could give their kid the wrong medicine doses the next time he or she gets sick.
The new study was published in Pediatrics.
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