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ISMP Medication Safety Alert

How kids get what they want

Kids know how to work the system! In hospitals, one nurse keeps track of a patient's medications. That nurse writes down in the patient's chart when doses were given so that the next nurse will know that the patient got his medications. However, in homes, it's rare to find any kind of record that medications were given, which can be a problem. For example, a six-year-old boy accidentally got two doses of his cold medicine. How did this happen? His mother gave him his dose, and since it tasted so good, a half hour later, the little boy asked his uncle for his medicine. His unsuspecting uncle gave it to him. Fortunately, even though it was a double dose, it was not a problem, but with some medicines, it could be. The message here is that kids will work the system to get what they want, including medicines that taste good. Pick one person in the house to be the "nurse" each day--you can even create a chart and check off when doses are given. And don't trust your kids when you ask them if they have taken their medicine!

Institute for Safe Medication Practices
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Throw away your old medicines safely
General Advice on Safe Medication Use
Lessons to Be Learned from Past Errors
Preventing Drug Errors in Children
Safe Medicine: ISMP Medication Safety Newsletter for Consumers
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