DENVER (CBS4)– A new study urges parents to use extra caution when measuring out cold medicine for their children.

The study published in the online edition of the Journal Pediatrics shows more than 70,000 children a year wind up in the emergency room because of mistakes with the dosage of cold medicine.

Some of the research was conducted by the Children’s Research Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Those children taken to the ER are typically double-dosed because caregivers are not keeping track of who is giving what medicine and when.

There are ways to effectively give your child medication without making mistakes that could result in a trip to the hospital.

    • Use a notebook or message board to keep track of times and doses.
    • More is not better; Some parents think a really bad cough or runny nose deserves more medication than called for but that is not true.
    • Don’t use a medication that claims to address all symptoms, pick the worst and address that concern.
    • Use an actual medicine spoon, not a kitchen spoon, to measure medication doses.

Cold medicines do not cure a cold, they only relieve symptoms.

One option is to go natural by using honey to soothe a cough and saline or salt water to moisturize nasal passages for a runny nose.

Dr. Dave Hnida is CBS4’s Medical Editor. He blogs about the latest studies and trends in the health world.

LINK: Dr. Dave’s Blog

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