Re-blogged from NPR-Why A Spoonful Of Medicine Can Be A Big Safety Risk For Kids by Kara Manke

Growing up as a child, I can remember my mother giving me cough medicine and reading the back of the medicine bottle. Then she would reach in the kitchen drawer to get a ‘spoon.’ Working with children in Pediatrics for many years, a Teaspoon is 5cc or 5ml. If you are measuring a Teaspoon by using a spoon- you most likely are not giving the right amount. Children under 100lbs are dosed medicine based on their weight. So, accuracy in giving a medication using a standard measuring tool is very important drug safety advice.

In the study, 30 percent of parents who thought of the medication dose in terms of teaspoons or tablespoons ended up using a kitchen spoon rather than a measuring device provided with the medication, compared with only 1 percent who thought of the medication dose in terms of milliliters. The use of kitchen spoons led to a greater frequency of dosing errors, which were defined as measured doses that were 20 percent higher or lower than the prescribed amount

Always remember to use a Standard Dosing Tool: a syringe, dropper or cup. You can purchase any of these measuring devices from the drug store or ask you healthcare provider for a sample.

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