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Children! Protecting them from medical mistakes

The rate for potential medical problems, according to earlier studies, is three times higher for children than for adults. The rates for babies in hospitals are even higher. However, a new effort by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) may help prevent medical errors in children.//

The effort, an educational campaign is aimed at pediatricians and parents, and includes a fact sheet that offers 20 tips on how to prevent medical errors in children. The tip sheet provides useful and practical, evidence-based tips on how to avoid medical errors related to prescription medicines, surgeries and hospital stays. The fact sheet advises doctors and parents to discuss medication dosages, potential side effects, and limits on food, drink or activities that might be necessary when a child is prescribed a particular medicine. The fact sheet will be distributed to 57,000 pediatricians and to groups representing children and parents.

Medicine-related medical errors can occur when a child is given the wrong medicine or is given the wrong dose of medicine for the child's weight.


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