This Frightening Statistic Should Be A Warning To All Parents

It’s that time of year again – cold and flu season.  And while being ill is hard on the whole family, our children are especially susceptible.

When looking to provide relief for their children’s symptoms, many parents are confused and overwhelmed by the broad spectrum of medications on the market and how to properly treat their child.

And one shocking statistic shines a spotlight on the problems with over-the-counter medications for use on children and should come as a dire warning to all parents.

Nearly 80 percent of parents improperly dose their children when giving them cold or flu medications.  And, tragically, some of these cases have resulted in permanent injury or death.

So what do parents need to know to provide the best possible care for their child and keep them safe in the process?

ABC News reported:

Dosing directions for children’s over-the-counter medication are misleading and hard for parents to understand, according to a study from the New York University School of Medicine.

Researchers have found that inconsistencies between labeled dosage and the provided measuring device could increase the likelihood of misdose when medicine is administered by caretakers in the home.

One in four OTC medications didn’t even include a measuring device, despite guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration that recommend all children’s medications to include them.

What’s more, dosage can change dramatically depending on the age and weight of the child. And the instructions on the box often don’t make matters any better, researchers found.

Among those medicines that included a measuring device, about 81.1 percent had superfluous markings that weren’t relevant to the prescribed dose and nearly 90 percent labeled the device with different units than the instructions contained.

In addition to the conflicting and confusing information found in the directions on over-the-counter medications, parents are also making errors that can cause great harm to the child.

In the frenzy of our day, we can often become distracted or forgetful.  Some of the main causes of improper dosing of liquid medications are:  giving too much or too little, giving doses too close together, confusing units of measurement, or giving the wrong type of medication for certain symptoms.

One of the most common mistakes is the use of kitchen flatware to measure teaspoons and tablespoons, rather than using an accurate measuring device.

ABC News reports on one physician’s advice:

“Parents should pay careful attention to the medication labels and devices when they give over-the-counter products to children. They need to make sure that they are looking at the label and checking whether the units of measurement match up on the device. Especially in the case of teaspoon and tablespoon measurements, it can be easy to get confused and parents need to be extra cautious whenever these units are used.”

Researchers also recommend that standardized regulations be put in place so that measuring devices and dosing units are the same across the board. For now, your local pharmacist can recommend an accurate measuring device for use with the specific medication you purchase.

Because all of this can be so intimidating and frightening for parents, many turn to natural remedies to ease their child’s symptoms.

Common-sense practices such as using steam or neti pots, gargling with salt water, elevating the head, and giving plenty of warm liquids to keep hydrated can go a long way toward relief.

There are also many cold and flu remedies with natural ingredients on the market that parents can research.  Look for products with little or no alcohol, no added dyes or sugars, and no stimulants.

Most importantly, a parent should seek the advice of their pediatrician for recommended products and appropriate dosages or to consult with them on any alternative treatments to help ease the suffering of their little ones.

Have you been confused by the conflicting information on the packaging of over-the-counter medications?

Leave us your thoughts in the comments section.

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