Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Don't use a spoon or that little cup to dose young kids

Shonna Yin, MD, associate professor at NYU Medical School, says using those little cups that come with baby cold medicine leads to dosing errors.

An oral syringe provides the most accurate measure.

Also--she points out--doses are not standard--they can be expressed on the package in milliliters, teaspoon, tablespoon, you name it.

This is an even bigger hurdle for parents with low health literacy or who speak a different language.

At very least, they say, the package should recommend using an oral syringe.

The study was part of a larger NIH inquiry and was conducted in pediatric out-patient clinics in Atlanta, New York and Stanford, CA.

The majority of the participants were mothers. Seventy-seven percent had low or marginal health literacy (tested for).

Each one measured nine doses of medicine using various tools and dose recommendations.

Eighty-four percent made some error. More errors were seen with cups than syringes.

Since familiar meds such as Tylenol or Motrin sound harmless, they can cause serious overdoses--remember, a baby or toddler body is small.

What is an oral syringe? It's like an eyedropper basically with doses written on it. Every drugstore has them.


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