Medication mistakes common for children
Scientists at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, OH, have found that out-of-hospital medication errors may affect as many as one child every eight minutes.
In the study, the researchers found that the majority of medication errors occurred at children's homes and were made by parents or caretakers. Between the years 2002 and 2012, they found, about 63,000 children younger than age six were affected every year by such errors. The medication errors led to 25 fatalities throughout the course of the study, as well as more than 4,600 hospitalizations.
The scientists said that painkillers were most commonly misused, followed by antihistamines. They also found that a common mistake was that children were given twice the dose than was needed.
In the study's findings, published in the journal Pediatrics, the researchers concluded that public health interventions may help prevent future medication errors. They added that parents and caretakers also need to pay closer attention to dosage amounts and instructions, particularly when it comes to very young children who are not able to communicate well what they need or what medications they have already taken.