Getting your kids to swallow medicine when they're sick is hard enough, but could the way you administer medicine actually make them sicker?
According to a study published by Dr. Shonna Yin, an associate professor from the NYU School of Medicine, parents are four times more likely to make a dosage error when using the cups that accompany many over-the-counter drugs.
"Our study found that parents with lower health literacy are at greater risk for making dosing errors," Dr. Yin told CNN.
She notes that the variety of measurement units and methods used on medicine bottles can prove confusing to parents. That confusion can lead to poor dosage.
She and other physicians recommend the use of syringes for more accurate measurement.
This newly released research is part of a larger study funded by the National Institutes of Health. In the experiments, over 2,000 caregivers with a child eight or younger were tested on their health literacy. The caregivers were then tested on their abilities to measure correct dosages of medicine.
The study revealed that almost 85 percent of the time, caregivers made at least one dosage error when administering medication. Approximately 64 percent of the errors were directly related to overdosing more specifically.
The first step in protecting your child’s health is to understand the signs of an overdose. According to Dr. Stan Spinner, signs of an overdose include abdominal pain, agitation, nausea, vomiting, rapid heart rate, and increased blood pressure. These signs may sometimes go undiagnosed by parents and are simply shrugged off as being symptoms of childhood fussiness.
Faulty packaging is essentially leading millions of parents to overdose their children in an attempt to make them feel better, so if you want to make sure you give the most accurate amount each time, consider buying a few syringes.
Also be sure to check with your doctor for more details!