Better Medication Use for Children Needed, Study Says

January 4, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. reform /rɪˈfɔrm/ (n.) – a plan to improve a practice
Example: The doctors advocated reforms that would provide free medication to the unemployed.

2. pediatric /ˌpi diˈæ trɪk, ˌpɛd i-/ (adj.) – relating to the branch of medical care of infants and children
Example: The drug store near the daycare center sells only pediatric medicine.

3. syringe /səˈrɪndʒ, ˈsɪr ɪndʒ/ (n.) – a medical instrument used to take blood or to inject fluids to the human body
Example: Most children are afraid of syringes because of its long, sharp end.

4. attentive /əˈtɛn tɪv/ (adj.) – giving a great deal of concentration to something
Example: Doctors must be attentive when dealing with two patients at once.

5. unwittingly /ʌˈnwɪtɪŋli/ (adv.) – unknowingly doing something
Example: She unwittingly took two of her medication pills because she was in a hurry.


Read the text below.
High statistics of medication overdose among children in the United States calls for much-needed reforms to improve the safety of administering pediatric medication.

A recent study conducted from 2002 to 2012 reported that medication errors among children are alarmingly frequent. In its 11-year span, the study revealed that 63,000 children suffer from medication errors every year. Twenty-five children had died because of medication mistakes during this period. In response to this, the researchers highly advise the need for reforms to prevent these risks.

The study commended campaigns like the PROTECT initiative led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which advocates reforms to improve medication packaging and to provide education on medication use for children.

The initiative is currently aiming to establish a uniform system of measurement for liquid medication. However, the researchers stressed that the directions and labeling of the medication must also be made readable and visible. Furthermore, measuring devices such as measuring cups and syringes that go along with the package also need to be made more accurate. 

Aside from supporting these reforms, the researchers also advise parents and caregivers to be attentive and responsible in giving medication doses. According to the study, the medication error that is most frequently committed is unwittingly giving a second dose to the child. The researchers recommend that parents and caregivers use methods or devices like smartphone apps to keep track of doses. Parents also need to have good communication with others who will also administer the medicines, like another guardian or nurse. If a mistake occurs, the researchers urge that parents immediately contact their local poison control center.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think your country needs medication reforms and initiatives like these? Why or why not?
·         What solution or advice would you add to these reforms? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         What do you think is the most harmful medication error? Please explain your answer.
·         How would you correct a medication error? Share details with your tutor. 

January 4, 2015