Paediatric dosing errors are rife, say researchers

Most parents give their children the wrong dose of medicine, according to researchers who are calling for better tools to help them manage the process.

Poorly designed drug labels are also contributing to dosing errors, they say.

Their study suggests the problem is rife, with more than 80% of parents having made at least one dosing error when giving their kids medicine.

Twelve per cent of those involved overdosing.

But when given the right implements, parents make fewer mistakes, according to lead author Dr Shonna Yin, an ambulatory care and health literacy researcher at New York University's School of Medicine.

An oral syringe that is the right size can have a big impact on whether a parent gets the dose right, she says.

In the study of 500 parents with young children, Dr Yin and colleagues randomly assigned them to one of four groups and gave them labels and dosing tools that