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      Parents should not use kitchen spoons for medications

      A new study shows some parents using kitchen spoons are potentially giving dangerous doses of medication to their children.

      Doctors said parents need to use syringes or droppers.

      A new study in the journal â??Pediatricsâ?? shows doctors recommend droppers and syringes that measure in milliliters instead of household spoons. The study shows parents who use spoonfuls are 50% more likely to give their children incorrect doses than those who measured in more precise milliliter units.

      Columbia pharmacist Bill Morrissey said, â??You can easily make a mistake with teaspoons versus tablespoons. When you are cooking a recipe, thatâ??s not a big deal. When you are dosing medicine, especially to small children, that can be a big problem.â??

      Incorrect doses include giving too much and too little. Underdosing may not give your child enough medicine. Overdoses may cause illness or side effects that can be life-threatening.

      Nearly 300 parents took part in the study. Almost one-third of the parents gave the wrong dose and 1 in 6 used a kitchen spoon instead of a syringe or dropper that lists doses in milliliters. The study also has some doctors wanting to get rid of spoon measurements for childrenâ??s medications.

      MU Health Care Pharmacist Jordan Anderson said, â??Itâ??s important for us to standardize what terminology is actually on the prescription. Everything should be listed in milliliters and not in these other prescriptions with teaspoons and tablespoons. That way, there is less confusion.â??

      Anderson said parents need to ask their doctor or pharmacist if they have any questions about their childâ??s medication. Most pharmacies give away free syringes and droppers along with childrenâ??s medications.

      Most pharmacists will give you a demonstration on how to use syringes and droppers for liquid medications.