Administering syrup to children with a homemade spoon is one of the fundamental causes for which mistakes are made in the dosage, and can lead to poisoning. However, although the agencies that regulate the use of medications have issued recommendations to prevent their use, and the containers themselves contain special spoons and syringes for the correct administration of the drug, many people use them believing that they will be able to calculate the dose well .

The Head of the Hopital Infantil del Niño Jesús Service and professor of pediatrics at the Autonomous University of Madrid, Juan Casado, explains that to calculate the dose of most medicines for children, the child's weight or body surface is taken into account , which is a function of their weight and height, and that the amount administered should be appropriate according to these parameters, and not a mere approximation. For this reason, it is always necessary to use a syringe or the dispenser.

The dose is not appropriate

Broan Wansink and Koert van Ittersum, from Cornell Ithaca University in New York (USA), have published a work in 'Annals of Internal Medicine' that has counted with the collaboration of 195 university students with an average age of 20 years, suffering from the flu or catarrh to which they were prescribed 5 ml of syrup.

They were taught to deposit the dose in a medium spoon and in a large spoon, and then they were given the syrup pack so that they deposited by themselves and without aid 5 ml in each spoon.

The researchers then measured the content of both, verifying that the dose was 8% less than the correct when they used the medium spoon and up to 11% higher if they had used the large spoon.

The authors found that despite having been previously trained in the use of both spoons, young people were not able to calculate the amount accurately, so the dose of medication varies depending on the size of the spoon used.

5 Medication Mistakes Parents Make (November 2019).