Parents take note: Learn about proper dosages for children's medicine

MILWAUKEE -- Cold and flu season is upon us. But what do you do when your little one gets a cough or the sniffles? Dr. Jenny Thomas of Aurora Healthcare joined the Real Milwaukee team to teach them about proper dosages for children's medicine.

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A recent study says that, under supervision, more than 80 percent of parents made a mistake when measuring out dosages of liquid medication. This could be caused by many things - the parents are rushed and stressed because their children are sick. Or because they`re not checking the dosage based on their child`s weight. Or even because the lines on the cups are so tiny, they can`t properly see the numbers.

Parents should use the syringe, instead of the cups, because you can get a more accurate dosage. With the cup, most children don`t drink every single drop. With the syringe, you are putting the proper amount into the child`s mouth.

This study also found that if an oral syringe is used instead of the cup, parents were less likely to make a mistake. Years ago, parents used a kitchen spoon to give out medication, but that is not a proper measurement either. Use the dispenser that came with the medication, or specifically ask for a syringe at the pharmacy.

If by chance you give them too much you`ll need to call 911 if you can`t get your child to wake up, or if they`re having trouble breathing. Some other red flags would be vomiting, drooling or dry mouth, extreme fatigue, sweating, rapid heartbeat or slurred speech. If you even suspect your child may have overdosed on over-the-counter, or prescription medication, you need to seek immediate medical attention.

Make sure all medications are inaccessible to children. For very young children, use cabinet locks and keep the medications up high where they can`t reach. Even for older children and teenagers, keep all of your prescription medications away from curious children. Put your medications away after every time you use them, don`t leave them sitting on the bathroom counter.