September 1st, 2017

Drug Dosages for Kids

For a parent or a caregiver with a sick kid who requires some type of medication, the best advice I can give you is: make absolutely sure you know what dose of that drug to give your child.

Unfortunately, according to a recent study in the journal Pediatrics, too many parents don’t heed that warning.

So, in this study of 491 parents of children under the age of 8, the researchers found that 5 in 6 parents (83%) parents made at least one “dosing error”, that is, a mistake in how much of a particular drug to give a child.

However, when given available tools to help them accurately measure the right dose, far fewer parents made dosage errors.

Two key considerations to always keep in mind if you’re in charge of a child’s medications.

  1. Drug doses in kids often depend on a child’s weight, so the dose of a drug that you give your 10-year-old is rarely the same dose you’d give your 4-year-old
  2. You should not rely on household do-it-yourself measuring devices, so a teaspoon from your cutlery tray is not a good way to figure out how much of a 5 ml dose of a drug your child requires – get the exact measuring tools that your child’s drugs require you to use.

And as, your pharmacist can be a terrific help if you’re at all unsure of how much of a drug your child needs.

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