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Most Parents Make Mistakes When Measuring Children’s Medications

Sick little ones at home? Be careful when you measure their medication. 

Syringes Are More Accurate Than Cups

Errors are more common when parents used medication cups instead of oral syringes. If you’re not holding a cup at eye level, a liquid may appear to be hitting a line when it isn’t. And this can actually cause a large difference in the dose, the study authors explain.

However, dosing problems were common even when parents used a syringe. So ask your doctor how to use one properly.

Tips to Measure Medications Properly

Always read dosing instructions carefully. It’s easy to confuse teaspoons and tablespoons, for example. Use a tool designed to give medication, not a household spoon.

It can be helpful to have your doctor or pharmacist demonstrate how to measure the liquid. This can help ensure you’re doing it the right way.

Online Medical Reviewer: Godsey, Cynthia, MSN, APRN, MSHE, FNP-BC
Online Medical Reviewer: Renee Watson, L., MSN, RN
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2019
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