Approximately 60,000 young children are brought to Emergency Departments each year because they got into medicine when an adult wasn’t looking or because they were given the wrong dose by mistake
June is National Safety Month and a perfect opportunity forhealthcare providers, parents, and caregivers of young children to think about the importance of safe medication use and storage.
“Dosing errors (when a parent or other caregiver gives too much or too little medicine) are the type of medication error that most often brings children into the Emergency Department,” says Dr. Shonna Yin, an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Population Health at the NYU School of Medicine.
To prevent dosing errors, medical professional organizationsrecommend that healthcare providers prescribe oral liquid medicines using only milliliters (mL) and that mL units are the only units that appear on dosing instructions, labels, and dosing devices (e.g., oral syringes, dosing cups). It is also recommended that healthcare providers use mL units when communicating with parents about giving medicines to children.
Parents and caregivers can prevent dosing errors by using only the dosing device that comes with their child’s medicine. Household spoons should not be used to measure medicine since they come in so many different shapes and sizes.
After ensuring that your child gets the right amount of medicine, make sure to relock the safety caps and put all medicines up and away – out of sight and reach of young children.
To learn more about safe dosing, read this Safe Healthcare Blog post from Dr. Yin:https://go.usa.gov/xQF3a.
This National Safety Month and always, protect young children by using only the dosing device that comes with the medicine to ensure that your child gets the right amount and by keeping all medicines up and away and out of their reach and sight.
|Healthcare Providers: Help promote safe dosing by using only metric units (mL) when prescribing oral liquid meds and when instructing parents & patients. #NationalSafetyMonth https://|