CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - When their children aren't feeling well, parents want to make them feel better fast. However, doctors say it's important not to get in a hurry when it comes to measuring out the correct dosage of medicine.
Getting the dosage wrong is a mistake that's more common than some might think, according to new research published Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The study shows about 40 percent of parents get their children's dosage wrong.
Whether it's because they mix up a tablespoon and a teaspoon or use a kitchen spoon which can be inaccurate, doctors say it is an easy mistake to make. That's why they're urging parents to be more careful.
Local mothers say they have their "go-to" medicines when their kids are sick.
"Mine would definitely be ibuprofen," Allison Hileman, a mother of three, said.
"Tylenol, children's Tylenol," Lacie Moats, a mother of eight, said.
Moats' kids range from 14 months to 13 years old.
"My pediatrician has given us a little dosage chart for over-the-counter medicines," Moats said.
She's extra careful to get the dose right, but she says it could be an easy mistake for parents to make.
"You're always just trying to comfort them and you grab a bottle and you pour it and go with it," Moats said.
Hileman says when in doubt, ask the professional.
"If their temperature is not going down after I give them the dose, I'm afraid I'm going to overdose them so I always double check with my doctor," Hileman said.
Nurse Nina Marshall at the Cape Girardeau County Rural Health Clinic says those moms have the right idea.
"You wouldn't want to over dose obviously but you don't want to under dose either because you want to make sure that the medication is doing what it's supposed to do," Marshall said.
She says to get it right, use the right tools.
"Use the measuring device that comes with your medication," Marshall said.
She says always refer to the dosage chart.
"It's all according to age and weight," Marshall said.
If you don't have that dosage chart on hand, there's an app for that. It's called Kid's Fever MD. You choose the type of medication you have, the product, your child's weight, and then it tells you the correct dosage for your child.
Marshall says an accurate dose is your best bet for getting your kids back up to 100 percent. Also, keep in mind the spoon you get out of your kitchen drawer, likely isn't an exact teaspoon or tablespoon. That's why Marshall says using the measuring cup or the syringe that comes with the medicine is your safest option.