Many parents don’t know how to safely give their children paracetamol and ibuprofen, a new Australian study has found.
Researchers from the University of Wollongong (UOW) found that “highly educated” parents had gaps in their knowledge about over-the-counter pain relief, which could put children at risk of side effects.
In a study of 174 people, a quarter of caregivers did not know the maximum daily dose of paracetamol and just under half didn’t know how many days in a row this dose could be safely given.
Over a third didn’t know that liver toxicity could result from overdose.
Associate Professor Judy Mullan, from UOW, said the findings were similar with ibuprofen.
"A quarter didn't know the maximum daily dose and almost a half of the population don’t realise there are potential side effects associated with using the medications long term," she told Mamamia.
Almost all the parents surveyed were women, with an average age of 36 years old.
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Dr Mullen, one of the authors of the study, said overdosing could cause serious problems.
"The long-term consequence for paracetamol, if you give over the recommended daily dose, is liver toxicity. With ibuprofen, the long-term consequences are kidney damage," she said.