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Study: Most kids' medicines have confusing directions

Study: Most kids' medicines have confusing directions

By Brian Martin | Posted - Dec. 1, 2010 at 4:18 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY -- A new study shows almost all over-the-counter medicines for children have confusing directions, which could increase the chance caregivers will give kids the wrong dose.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found 50 percent of adults give their children incorrect doses of medication. That may be because 26 percent of children's medicines didn't have a cup or dropper, the study found, which forces parents to measure doses themselves.

Researchers say complicated labeling contributes to the problem. In addition, some medications have written directions using teaspoon or tablespoon measurements but the cup or syringe provided uses milliliters.

Lincoln Nehring with Voices for Utah Children says instructions shouldn't be complicated.

"They shouldn't be read or written in a way that only a doctor or someone with medical training truly can understand what the dosage should be and what the risks are," he said.

Almost 6,000 kids each year end up in the ER from accidental overdoses of over-the-counter medicines.

E-mail: bmartin@ksl.com

Brian Martin

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