Once ill kids leave the health centers; parents in most cases never understand the follow-up care, which is needed. Some don’t know how the children should be given the medicine. This was a suggestion by research reviews.

Getting right instructions is quite important to avoid making mistakes that may lengthen children`s illness. At times, the illness prolongs to an extent that children have to be returned to the hospital to seek additional care. Medication errors were found to be the most prominent problem according to researchers in a review of sixty four studies. For instance, up to thirty eight percent of caregivers and parents did not have awareness on the appropriate medicine dose & up to 42% of the parents seemed not to understand the number of times the children had to take- in the prescribed drugs.

Dosing errors and prescriptions

Parents giving their kids roughly 20% less or more medication than prescribed happened regularly. Most of these errors took place when measuring the liquid medications normally given to the children.

Generally, under dose worsen a child`s condition while an overdose exposes children to serious side effects. This was according to Dr. Alexander Glick, lead study author. Many times, parents did not understand the follow-up appointment the children needed as well as the symptoms of worsening illness, which may create the need for a child to be taken back to the hospital.

Roughly, 62% of families failed the follow-up appointments recommended after children are discharged from the hospital. This was the same case with 81% of families whose children received treatment in emergency rooms. If not administered right, it could lead to dire circumstances where children may require care from a BLS healthcare provider.

Why parents miss the follow up appointments

In most cases, the parents did miss those appointments while others failed to schedule the appointments for a number of reasons, which include;

  • Lack of private health insurance
  • Having more children
  • Spoke little or no English
  • Problem getting permission from work
  • Taking children from school for a doctor visit among others

After the children miss follow-up appointments, the chance for additional monitoring is lost and at the same time the physicians cannot see to it that the parents are correctly following the instructions. Said Glick by email.

Failure to understand discharge instructions leads to unanticipated and unnecessary readmissions as well as emergency department visits. The study found out that children were likely to adhere to follow-up appointments when those visits were arranged before leaving the hospital.

Medication mistakes seemed less common at the time clinicians were in hospitals directing the parents on the right manner in which to fill the syringes or medication cups in order to give their children appropriate liquid medicine amount.

Impact of the study

This study reveals the devastating medication & follow-up non-compliance rate. Klinkner though not among those involved in the study said via an email that failure to turn up for follow-up appointments and wrong medication, particularly among complex children may cause chronic diseases and lifelong disability.

Such mistakes should be avoided by parents not shying away in case they don’t clearly understand the instructions given to them or when factors, for instance, transportation or lack of insurance hinders them. Klinkner also advised the clinicians to give simple instructions and remember to ask the parents important questions to make sure that they have fully understood.