PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. Parents’ confusion over correctly administering over-the-counter medication to their children appears to be shared worldwide, according to a new study presented this week in Lisbon, Portugal, by Rebekah Moles from the University of Sydney.
“We conducted our study over a five-month period, with seven fathers, 53 mothers and 37 day care workers, involving fictitious scenarios regarding children with fever-and-cold symptoms, and asked how they would handle administering medication,” Moles said. Of the 97 caregivers tested, 61% got the dosage wrong.
Almost half (44%) of the caregivers failed to quantify the right quantity and did not give enough medication, while 17% administered an overdose. “Only 14% managed the scenario properly,” Moles said.
In North America, the statistics on overdosing children with OTC medications are similar. According to a report published by the American Medical Association, children between the ages of 2 and 12 years inaccurately are dosed up to 73% of the time, increasing emergency room visits in two-thirds of the cases.
Recently, the daytime television show "The Doctors" featured a segment on weight-based dosing with a new pediatric, weight-based labeling product being brought to market by AccuDial Pharmaceutical. “Studies show that children are given inaccurate doses of over-the-counter medication [more than] 50% of the time,” noted Jim Sears, the show’s host. “As pediatricians, we always dose by weight. Children’s AccuDial’s weight-based label gives specific doses by weight ... and it comes with its own dosing spoon, so it’s accurate.”
AccuDial’s products were approved by Health Canada 18 months ago, and presently are under consideration for approval by the Food and Drug Administration.