Medication errors happen for a variety of reasons, but many often come down to one word: math. Yes, your pediatrician (like you) can hit the wrong calculator key, or do the math too fast in his head, or forget to borrow, or run out of fingers. Almost 18 percent of pediatric dosing errors come from math mistakes. Some children are on complex regimens that require a lot of careful calculations based on their weight in kilograms. Their weight determines how many milligrams of the med is needed, then that’s converted to how many teaspoons are needed in that particular medicine, which may come in different concentrations. And that’s not even figuring in sloppy handwriting! Also, some meds are available only in adult dosages, which must be reformulated or diluted for children. More math.
Finally, kids grow fast. A med that was right a few weeks ago may not be now. (I don’t know about your kids, but I swear my kids grow inches and add pounds overnight. We’ve all seen crazy growth spurts.) Plus kids have a varying ability to metabolize medications, and young kids can’t always tell you if a medication is actually making them feel sicker. All of these factors can create an accident waiting to happen.
From The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents by Jennifer Trachtenberg.
Find out more about this book:The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents