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Preventing Medication Errors in Children

Children rely on adults for so many things. They look to us to keep them safe, prevent hurt feelings and even cure them when they are ill. Because they are not old enough to speak up for themselves, it is important that you understand how to prevent medication errors in little ones.

1. Provide Information

Every medical professional that your child sees should know what medication they are currently on or have been on. This is easier done if you keep a type of medical journal for your child. Write down any visits they have had, medications they have taken and allergies you have discovered. Share this information with all of the medical providers that see your child.

2. Prescriptions

When a pediatrician hands you a prescription, make sure you can read it. If you can’t read the handwriting on the paper, your pharmacist may not be able to read it either.

3. Confirmation

When you pick up the medication from the pharmacy, be sure to confirm that it was what was prescribed. A study has shown that 88% of medication errors are due to the wrong drug or the wrong dose.

4. Plain Talk

You weren’t trained as a doctor or pharmacist. Ask your child’s doctor, nurse or pharmacist to speak to you plainly and clearly. Ask questions and, if you don’t understand, ask again. Never feel like you are being annoying or pushy. Your child’s health and safety is your responsibility.

5. Written Information

Ask for any written information that is available for the medication your child has been prescribed. Ask for information about side effects, interactions and proper dosing. Having this information in writing will ensure that you have something to look at if you have a question you forgot to ask.

Medication errors among children are too common. As a parent or guardian, you can do your best to prevent these errors by following the tips above. If you believe that your child has been harmed due to a medical error or through a doctor’s negligence, please call our office. We will provide you with a free case evaluation and advise you of your options.

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