One of the biggest reasons that medication errors are so common in children is that most medications are designed with adults in mind. For the child, the dosages are simply reduced based on the child's size.
In a hospital setting, many of the powerful medications in use there can be poison to a child if they are not administered in the proper dosages. Parents should be aware of how the height and weight of their child can play a significant role in how medications are administered in a clinical setting.
In the home, a parent or guardian can do a lot to help make sure their child is not a victim of an accidental overdose.
- Do not exceed recommended dosages for children;
- Use a measuring device like a dosing cup or spoon— kitchen spoons are not accurate;
- Check for active ingredients— do not give children more than one medication with the same one;
- Do not use medicines if you cannot understand the dosing instructions.
These are crucial steps when using over the counter medications with children, but they can be even more important when dispensing prescription medications to a child. Follow the directions closely, and ask a doctors or pharmacist of you have questions about a drug. Also, remember in the case of antibiotics, most are prescribed as a complete cycle of the drug, so it is important to take all of it if that is what a physician has prescribed.