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Clearer guidance to help parents measure child medicine doses

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Parents are to recieve more help from clearer guidance to be published on children’s medicines containing paracetamol.

New labels on liquid medicines, to be introduced by the end of the year, will help parents measure the right dose by offering a more detailed breakdown of requirements by age group.

The current age band of six to 12 will be split up into three parts, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has announced.

Clearer guidance on paracetamol formulas for babies will also be published.

Current instructions tell parents that children aged six to 12 should have 5ml to 10ml of medicine, up to four times in 24 hours.

The new information will read 5ml for those aged six to eight, 7.5ml for those aged eight to 10 and 10ml for those aged 10 to 12.

Dr June Raine, MHRA director of vigilance and risk management of medicines, said: “The change is to ensure children get the most optimal dose of paracetamol suitable for their age.

“This updated dosing advice will clarify the doses, making it easier for parents and carers to know exactly how much paracetamol they should give their children.

“The change is not because of safety concerns and parents/carers should not be worried that they have done anything wrong.”

Paracetamol products for children currently on the market should have the updated dosage instructions by the end of 2011. In the meantime, parents can still follow the doses recommended on the pack.

You can discuss this further on our Nursing Times forum, connect with your peers!

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Readers' comments (2)

  • michael stone

    The level of maths in this country isn't high - I hope, as well as saying '5ml, etc', relevant measuring spoons will also be dispensed with medicines ?

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  • Lets hope hope that the use of measuring syringes for childrens' medicines will aslo become the norm as research has shown that there are worrying discrepancies in the doses administered when measuring spoons are used.

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