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Syringes safer than spoons for children's medicine


The use of domestic spoons to give children medicine could put them at risk of overdose, a Greek study has warned.

The research, which looked at 120 teaspoons and tablespoons from 25 households found that some held two to three times as much as others. The capacity of the teaspoons ranged from 2.5ml to 7.3ml, while the capacity of the tablespoons ranged from 6.7ml to 13.4ml.

The authors said: “Teaspoons and tablespoons, although convenient, are unreliable devices to measure and administer liquid medications.”

To avoid dosage differences, the team urged parents to use syringes.

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Readers' comments (3)

  • The above states the obvious. Syringes are also a lot easier to use when giving medication to anyone unable to take it themselves.

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  • Martin Gray

    I'm sure someone will argue that there is a risk of causing choking if the medication is administered too quickly using a syringe. But it is a far more accurate method and easier to use ; there is also little risk of spillage.

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  • It should common practice in managing administration of medication in children as they often need specific doses such as 0.5mls or 2.5mls and we have to be sure they get the correct dose to prevent error therefore oral syringes rather than spoons are used. Also it is easier to administer also.

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