Metric System Best for Dosing Liquid Medicine, Say Pediatricians

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents and health care providers use only metric units when giving children liquid medicine. In new guidelines issued last week, AAP urged forgoing teaspoons and tablespoons – and particularly kitchen spoons – to avoid incorrect dosing that often leads to unintentional medication overdoses. In fact, more than 70,000 children visit emergency rooms each year because of unintentional overdose, AAP reports. The guidelines also include the following recommendations for pediatric dosing: • Using the abbreviation “mL” for milliliter • Stating “daily” on labels rather than “qd,” which could be misinterpreted as “qid” or four times daily • Reviewing milliliter-based dosing with families • Providing clearly labeled dosing devices, such as syringes • Eliminating non-metric units from medicine labels More information is available in the AAP’s policy statement.