Industry Group Provides Guide to Parents To Avoid Child Medication Mistakes

Following the release of a study this month that found children face a disproportionate risk of medication errors, a healthcare industry group has proposed new guidelines aimed at reducing the risk that children are provided the wrong dosage of drugs. 

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) issued a statement on October 20, the same day a study was published in the medical journal Pediatrics that suggested more than 60,000 children under the age of six suffer injuries or complications from medication errors each year, which is the equivalent of about one child every eight minutes.

The eye opening study found that most of the child medication mistakes occur when parents give their loved ones the wrong dose of a medication, or accidentally administer a double dose after forgetting they had already given their children one earlier. The research also noted that recent label changes made for cold and cough medicines resulted in a decrease in errors for children involving those drugs, while issues attributed to other medicines increased 37%.

Did You Know?

Millions of Philips CPAP Machines Recalled

Philips DreamStation, CPAP and BiPAP machines sold in recent years may pose a risk of cancer, lung damage and other injuries.

Learn More

“The makers of over-the-counter medicines are encouraged to see that voluntary label changes to children’s cough and cold products have contributed to a reduction in medication errors in this category, and we remain committed to continuing our efforts to prevent all medication errors,” CHPA President and CEO Scott Melville said in the statement. “Through the CHPA Educational foundation, we work with government agencies and healthcare professional groups to remind parents of young children to always read and follow the label and to store medicines up and away and out of sight. Reading and following the label and using the proper dosing device that comes with the medicine are key steps parents and caregivers should always take to ensure they treat their children with care.”

In its statement, the CHPA gave a list of tips for parents that the group says could lower child medication errors across the board:

  • Always read and follow drug label instructions.
  • Do not give cold and cough medication to children under the age of 4.
  • Always give the recommended dose, as measured by the measuring device provided with the drug. Do not exceed recommended limits.
  • Only give a child a medication that addresses their specific symptoms.
  • Do not give a child two medicines with any of the same active ingredients.
  • Do not use cold and cough medications to sedate children.
  • Do not give drugs containing aspirin to children unless recommended by a doctor.
  • Do not give adult medications to children.
  • Call their doctor immediately at the first sign of drug side effects in children.
  • Keep all medicines out of reach of children.

The original study found that nearly 94% of the child medication errors that occur each year happen outside of the hospital and traditional healthcare facilities, with most occurring at home when parents are distracted.


"*" indicates required fields

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Have Your Comments Reviewed by a Lawyer

Provide additional contact information if you want an attorney to review your comments and contact you about a potential case. This information will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories

Bard 3DMax Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Set for Trial To Begin in April 2024
Bard 3DMax Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Set for Trial To Begin in April 2024 (Posted today)

With thousands of Bard hernia mesh lawsuits pending in the federal court system, a fourth bellwether trial will be held in the spring, involving allegations that defects with Bard 3DMax caused painful and permanent injuries.

Ozempic Gastroparesis Lawsuit Filed Over Failure To Warn About Permanent Stomach Problems
Ozempic Gastroparesis Lawsuit Filed Over Failure To Warn About Permanent Stomach Problems (Posted 2 days ago)

A South Dakota man has filed one of the first gastroparesis lawsuits against Ozempic manufacturers, alleging that users have not been adequately warned about the risk of severe vomiting and long-term stomach side effects.