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BNF guidance hopes to reduce prescribing errors for children

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The new edition of the British National Formulary for Children (BNFC) has been published, giving advice on choosing medicines for youngsters.

The so-called drugs bible guides health professionals on the safest and most effective ways to treat conditions in children in a bid to avoid medicine errors.

The latest edition is laid out in a similar way to the main BNF book, which should ease sourcing of information if both publications are used.

The new BNFC has updated information on the treatment of conditions including nocturnal enuresis, meningitis and HIV infection.

It also contains changes to advice on antibacterial therapy for various infections.

Professor Warren Lenney, chair of the Paediatric Formulary Committee, said: “The complexity of paediatric prescribing, given the range of prescribing required for children from birth to 18 years, means that there are more prescribing errors made for children than for adults.

“It is therefore very important that healthcare professionals always use the latest edition of BNF for Children to ensure that children are given the right dose at the right time.”

The BNFC is published by the BMJ Group, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group.

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