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Parents making medication errors due to confusing instructions

According to the newly released data, every eight minutes a child who is less than 6 years of age falls victim to medication errors committed by adults. A doctor speaking on "CBS This Morning" said that these dosage mistakes could be related to the instructions found on some of the boxes containing the medication.

The doctor points out that sometimes there is a discrepancy between the units of measurement referred to on the boxes and the devices supplied to measure the medications. The box may describe dosages in milliliters, but the enclosed device measures teaspoons. Also, if a parent uses a spoon that is part of the household silver to issue the medicine, they could be giving the child a 50 percent larger dose. The publication that published the details of the study recommends that a standardization using milliliters be adopted in order to help prevent such accidents.

According to the doctor, children aged one year or younger constitute a large number of medication error victims. This fact alone drives home just how vital proper instructions can be in preventing harm to children.

When you bring home medication to treat your child, you have to rely on the dosage instructions that come packaged with the product. As such, these instructions should be not only accurate, but clear in their meaning. There is not any room for ambiguities or mistakes when it comes to directions for dosage.

Improperly labeled over-the-counter medications can lead to dangerous dosage errors. Likewise, if a prescription drug is issued by a physician, then they have a responsibility to inform you about dosage amounts and other relevant facts. If your child is ever harmed for reasons that can be traced to misinformation about a drug, a Phoenix medication injury lawyer could look at the circumstances of your case to determine a legal course of action.

Source: CBS News, “New study sounds alarm on children's medicine doses,” Oct. 20, 2014

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