Keeping Children Safe From Medication Errors

Posted by Sarah Showard | Nov 07, 2013 | 0 Comments

Keeping children safe from medication errors

A few tips can help families avoid medication errors in their children.

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.

About the Author

Sarah Showard

Sarah Showard graduated from the University of Maryland in 1985, Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English-Linguistics and a Certification in Women's Studies. She then graduated from New York University School of Law in 1988. Sarah began practice initially as an insurance defense attorney, and has been representing plaintiffs since 1990. Sarah has a son, Benjamin, who recently graduated from The Gregory School and will attend ASU in the fall, with future plans to attend law school and eventually join Showard Law Firm. In her spare time Sarah enjoys horseback riding and spending time in Sonoita with her husband Peter.


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