SAFETY ALERT: Local doctors warn parents of medicine dose errors

SAFETY ALERT: Local doctors warn parents of medicine dose errors
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - There are plenty of medications for parents to choose from, but according to a new study, the amount of medicine they actually give to their children is where they go wrong.

The American Academy of Pediatrics found more than 80% of parents made at least one dosing error when giving liquid medications to children.

The study also found labeling to be a key contributor to pediatric dosing errors. Local pediatricians like Dr. Mariada George at Panhandle Pediatrics couldn't agree more.

"If you are Spanish and you don't read English, most labels are in English," said Dr. George. "Then there's things like our abbreviations... parents don't know what that means."

Dr. George went on to say when you buy medications, sometimes the measurement tool in the box doesn't match what's written on the prescription.

"So this will say teaspoons and this will be milliliters," said Dr. George.

She added that lack of education is the biggest problem when it comes to dosing errors.

"We think a certain way and parents don't think that way because they weren't trained that way," said Dr. George. "So we need to be a little bit more proactive in educating the parents."

Educator at the Texas Panhandle Poison Center Ronica Farrar said the tool you use to administer medicine also matters.

"Never something you eat your cereal or your soup with, and never just give them a bottle and take a swig," said Farrar.

She went on to say a syringe is the solution to dosage problems.

"The least amount of dosing errors occur when you use a syringe that is marked appropriately and is the size that most closely matches the dosage you're giving," said Farrar.

Both Dr. George and Farrar said communicating with your pharmacist is the best way to make sure you're giving your child the right amount of medicine.

If you have questions, you can also call the Texas Panhandle Poison Center at (800) 222-1222.

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