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Spoons Are for Soup, Milliliters Are for Medicine

Spoons Are for Soup, Milliliters Are for Medicine

Spoons Are for Soup, Milliliters Are for Medicine

Each year, approximately 60,000 children are treated in emergency departments after getting into medicines on their own or after dosing errors by adults.  

Many of these dosing errors occur when caregivers use household or kitchen spoons instead of a dosing device. The pediatricians at Parkland Health Center want to remind you:

• The average household tablespoon holds three times as much medicine as a teaspoon.
• Do not use household spoons to give liquid medicines.
• Be sure to use the appropriate dosing device — such as an oral syringe — to give the recommended amount of medicine. 

“If your baby is prescribed a specific amount of medicine, make sure you measure and give the specific amount using a dosing device,” says Karin Clauss, MD, pediatrician at Parkland Health Center.  “Instead of a kitchen spoon, use the dosing device that comes with your child’s medicine such as an oral syringe or dosing cup to make sure your child gets the right amount of medicine. Some products are packaged with these devices, but devices are also available for purchase over the counter. Ask your pharmacist if you don’t have one."

Talk to your pharmacist or your child's health care provider if you have questions.

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