Research reveals that over 80% parents make at least one kid’s dosage error while measuring out liquid medication for kids. An overdose can be harmful, while under-dose would not give the desired result. Medication mistakes that parents make are generally related to measuring liquid cough syrups, choosing the right pain relievers, and missing dosage of antibiotics. Sadly, even the most meticulous parents end up making medication mistakes.
Here is a list of the most common mistakes that parents make with kid’s medicine from age 1 to 10:
#1: Inaccurate Measurements
Generally, parents use household kitchen teaspoons or tablespoons for dosage. Kitchen spoons can never provide accurate measurement – you may either give the medicine quantity higher or lower than the prescribed dosage. Avoid using the kitchen spoon and switch to dedicated children’s medicine measuring tools. To dispense medicine to your kids, always use the marked medicine measuring spoons, syringes or cups.
#2: Not Considering the Weight
Doctors prescribe medicines to children based on their weight, not age. For instance, 2 tsp. of pain relieving acetaminophen can bring down the fever of a child weighing 55 lbs. However, for a child weighing 75 lbs, it might take 3 tsp. of the same medicine. So, always make note of the child’s weight and recheck the dosage during the doctor’s visit.
#3: Determining Dosage
You need not determine the dosage of medicines given to your kid. You should always follow the prescription of your doctor and give the appropriate dosage as mentioned. For instance, if you give an extra dose of antibiotic to your child (in place of one tsp., if you give 1 ½ tsp.), it can be dangerous. Extra dosage given over a long period can lead to kidney damage. So, check the prescription and labels carefully.
#4: Over-medication for Speedy Recovery
A major medication mistake that parents make with kids – overmedication. If you believe that overmedication leads to speedy recovery, you are wrong! Even if your child vomits within an hour of taking medicine, you should not repeat the dose unless your pediatrician prescribes. Some parents also believe that if a drug does not work instantly, an added dose might be helpful. You are grossly mistaken! Give up these habits and just follow your doctor’s instructions.
#5: Not Completing the Full Course
Once your child starts feeling better, you might be tempted to leave the bottle as it is. Well, that is not how it should be!
Medicines have a defined dosage; it is very important to complete the dosage as per your doctor. In addition, if your doctor prescribes that you should give a different drug instead of the usual, make sure you discard the first one. Do not store antibiotics in the refrigerator only for later use. Discard unused liquids, tablets, capsules, and supplements.
Additional Expert Tips on Right Medication for Kids
- Not all drugs get absorbed easily. So, do not even attempt to add medicines to your child’s drink or food.
- Children should take antibiotics an hour prior or post meals. Some drugs go with meals too such as prescribed sulfa drugs for ear infections.
- Give medicines to your kids with water, not anything else (no chocolate syrup or carbonated beverages).
- If your doctor prescribes a medicine prior to meals or after the meals, do as suggested. Do not take the prescription lightly.
- Avoid giving baby medicine while sleeping. Liquid medicines are sticky. It might cause congestion and lead to fatal consequences.
Always consult your pediatrician in case of any confusion with dosage, measurement, or timing. Parents should understand that the child’s medicine has specific dosage. In case of an overdose, your child may suffer adverse consequences.