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Reporting a Medication Error

Mark the Bottle!

edab5e545cc8cf6a49faaa8a9ea6a3d0 MOut of the corner of your eye, you catch your toddler drinking from his older broter's bottle of liquid medicine. You quickly call the National Poison Control Hotline.* But when they ask you how much your child took, you frantically realize that you don't really know.

Even parents who know the basic rules of poison control, such as keeping medicines out of children's reach and posting the poison control number next to the phone, may not know how much liquid medicine a child has taken. Here's a simple solution: Mark the level of liquid medicines after each use by drawing a line on the label. Then, if a child drinks the contents, you will know how much is missing. This information will help poison control determine whether or not you need to take your child to the emergency room.

Also, be especially watchful when you give your child liquid medicine. Most cough syrups, antibiotics, and other liquid medicines are made to taste good so children will take them. Young children may drink the whole bottle if they get the chance. However, even if the medicine tastes bad, don't let your guard down. Children have drunk the whole bottle of a medicine that tastes just awful!

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