NPR had a story this morning about the high number of medication errors children experience and some ideas as to why.
In short summary:
- Kitchen spoons are inaccurate for giving “teaspoons” of medicine, and it doesn’t take much to give the little ones an overdose.
- Dose instructions are in teaspoons, but sometimes the cups that come with the bottle are in milliliters!
I also remember hearing about the surprising lack of literacy when parents read labels: I’ve seen a video of a woman reading a label that abbreviated tsp. and read it as “Tablespoons.”
Primary source link for the curious:
Yin, H.S., Wolf, M.S., Dreyer, B.P., Sanders, L.M., Parker, R.M. (2010). Evaluation of Consistency in Dosing Directions and Measuring Devices for Pediatric Nonprescription Liquid Medications. JAMA. Published online November 30, 2010. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1797
Photo credit Rakka