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One American Child Subject to Medication Error Every Eight Minutes, 11-Year Study Reveals

A study of telephone calls to poison control hotlines revealed that between 2002 and 2012, a child was subject to an out-of-hospital medication mistake approximately every eight minutes, Reuters reported. The number of mistakes marks an increase from previous years for every medication outside of cough and cold medicines, according to the Huffington Post. The reduction in errors pertaining to cough and cold medication is attributed to a prolonged educational campaign aimed at parents decreasing the use of these medications for young children, leading experts to believe that educational efforts such as these have a beneficial effect, according to Reuters Health.Each year an average of 63,358 children, or 27 out of every 10,000, under the age of six experienced medication errors, Reuters reported. A majority of the errors involved liquid medications, and also stemmed from a child being given a higher dosage than is recommended, according to The Huffington Post. Further, the highest rate of medication errors were found in children under the age of one, which experts attribute to new and unfamiliar parents simply making mistakes, The Huffington Post reported. The overriding message that researchers want parents to take from this study is the need to be more attentive when giving their children medicine.

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