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Medication Errors Occur Every 8 Minutes in Kids

A child receives the wrong medication or the wrong dosage every eight minutes in the United States, according to a recent study. Nearly 700,000 children under 6 years old experienced an out-of-hospital medication error between 2002 and 2012. Out of those episodes, one out of four children was under a year old. As the age of children decreased, the likelihood of an error increased, the study found.

The study revealed many different reasons for the medication errors.  An example would be one caregiver giving a child a dose, and then a second caregiver, who does not know that and wants to make sure the child gets the proper amount of medicine, giving the child a dose, too. Other reasons for errors included incorrectly measuring the dosage or overprescription of some medications.

Pain relievers and cough and cold medicines each comprised about a quarter of all the errors identified, and antihistamines made up 15 percent of the errors. Antibiotics made up about 12 percent.

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