Medications errors among young children have been on the rise in the U.S. over the last decade, a new study shows.
Throughout an 11- year study the number of reported medication mistakes, with the exception of cough and cold medicines, increased markedly, according to a report published in the journal Pediatrics.
The study focused on medication mistakes that happen with children’s medications in the home. Researchers analyzed data collected from 2002 through 2012 on medication errors reported among children younger than six years. The data, from the National Poison Database System, included information on calls made to the 55 U.S. poison control hotlines.
During every year of the study’s activity there was an average, 63,358 medication errors involving children. Over 25% of these errors involved the child being given the same medication twice.
Although a majority of these errors did not involve further medical attention, the study found that 25 children died of medication errors in the over ten years’ worth of data. Pain medications were the most common in the reported errors, followed by cough and cold as well as allergy medicines.
The researchers also found that medication errors became less common as children got older with around 25 percent of the errors occurring in children under the age of one.