Prevent a Medication Mix-Up in Your Home — Real Advice for Real Life from the American Nanny
Real Advice For Real Life
Parenting Expert Advice from Author and America’s Nanny,
Prevent a Medication Mix-Up in Your Home
With the number of prescriptions that are handwritten and dispensed by pharmacies across the country each year, it should be no surprise that errors can occur. Even with the most careful doctor writing legibly and pharmacists double checking dosages, when humans are involved no amount of carefulness is error proof.
Recently my 10 month old daughter was given a prescription from the local pharmacy with an incorrect label, instructing us to give her 5 times the amount of medication that was prescribed by her doctor.
The doctor had written the prescription for 3 cc (cubic centimeters) three times per day, but the label instructed us to give her 3 teaspoons three times per day.
To make matters worse, the technician at the drive-up window reiterated the incorrect instructions to my husband and showed him how to draw up the medication using a 5 ml syringe. Fortunately, when my husband came home from the pharmacy and told me the instructions he was given I immediately knew what he was telling me was wrong.
I grabbed the bottle to prove to him that he had misheard the instructions, but to my surprise, the instructions he was giving me were written clearly on the label. When it comes to medications, errors will happen.
It’s your job as a parent or caregiver to be sure that the errors don’t make it in your front door.
While it’s great to have confidence in doctors and pharmacies, confidence isn’t a substitute for being an educated parent or caregiver.
When it comes to kids and medication, always follow these three rules:
- Listen to the instructions of the prescribing doctor and repeat back to the doctor the medication name and dosing instructions. If your doctor seems rushed or if you’re preoccupied with the kids, ask the doctor to slow down or to write the instructions out for you.
- Look at the label. Be sure it’s yours and confirm that the label matches the instructions the prescribing doctor gave you. Always check your prescriptions before leaving the store.
- Ask for clarification. Speak up if things don’t make sense and take advantage of the pharmacist consult that most pharmacies offer. Be sure to speak to the pharmacist, not the technician if you do have questions. If you are given a syringe to administer medication and the units on it don’t match the units on your label, ask for a different measuring tool or for the conversion.
As a result of my daughter’s incident, mothers and professional nannies in my network from across the United States wrote and called the pharmacy headquarters, demanding that the chain provide educational materials to parents regarding these three rules. As a result of our grassroots efforts, they will be expanding their educational materials to address issues like this. Read our original story has appeared on the front page of the Cape Cod Times. Watch the Channel 7 story. Watch the FOX 25 Family Works segment.
More Parenting Advice:http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Parents-Young.shtml
Michelle is an active member of the nanny community. She is the founder and president of Boston Area Nannies, Inc., a local non-profit educational organization and has served on the International Nanny Association Board of Directors.
She is called on by the media as a nanny and parenting expert and has been affectionately dubbed America's Nanny. Michelle has appeared on television and has been featured in print.
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Books by Michelle LaRowe
A Mom's Ultimate Book of Lists: 100+ Lists to Save You Time, Money and Sanity - Grocery lists. Checklists. To-do lists. Lots of people love--and live by--lists. And parents are no exception. Today's families are busier than ever, and moms don't have the time or energy to search and scramble for the parenting information they are desperately seeking. This handy, practical reference guide will save time, money, and sanity for today's busy women.
Working Mom's 411 is your one-stop resource guide for navigating through the often choppy waters of managing kids, career and home.
Nanny to the Rescue - America's nanny offers a large dose of healthy parenting advice with secrets for raising happy, secure, and well-balanced babies and toddlers.
Nanny To the Rescue Again - Faced with multiple choices regarding school, friends, and activities coupled with the ever-widening influence of the outside world, parents of 6-12-year-olds need help. America's nanny is back to offer a large dose of healthy parenting advice with secrets for raising happy, secure, and well-balanced children.
To learn more, visit www.michellelarowe.com
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