Avoid feeding your child medicine via teaspoon

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How do you feed medicine to your children?  I remember while growing up, my parents used teaspoon as a common tool to give medicine.  Even today, my brother and sister use the similar teaspoons to feed medicine to their children.  A latest study reported that parents should avoid using teaspoons as you cannot control the amount of medicine that you are giving to your child.  It could be low and high.  This is along the lines of a recall from FDA of Kids Vitamin D drops, which had potential of overdose due to faulty dropper.  The study reported in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, looked at more than 70 teaspoons collected from 25 homes in Greece.

What are major variations in medication dose given to children?
US and Greek researchers found that most households use teaspoon to give medicine to children.  The variation in dose could be due to:

  • Size of the spoon: Survey of 25 households revealed that largest teaspoon was three times the size of smallest.  It was also found that most household had between one and three different teaspoons, but two women had six.

Dr. Matthew Falagas, the lead author said that “We not only found wide variations between households, we also found considerable differences within households.” 

  • No good measure: Parents were asked to pour 5 ml of medicine in spoon and they poured varying quantities, which is...



    expected.

What is the recommended solution?
Solution is indeed a simple one, use syringes instead of teaspoons.  Syringes are increasingly given out with over-the-counter medicines such as child paracetamol and ibuprofen.  Use of syringe would avoid over dose.

Is there risk high of overdose?
The team from the Alfa Institute of Biomedical Sciences in Athens suggested that a parent using the largest domestic teaspoon would be giving their child nearly three times as much medicine as the smallest.  But, the harm caused by this overdose is considered at low at this time.

Although risk of giving over or under dose of common medicines to children was rated low, still the recommendation is to use syringe instead of teaspoon.  I remember in my childhood days, some cough syrup came with a plastic spoon that could hold the recommended amount of medicine (like 5 ml).  If you think feeding your child with syringe is bit strange, measure the medicine properly by syringe or anything else and pour it in teaspoon before feeding it to your child.

Healthy Parenting!

Source: bbc

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