Researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio found a disturbing number of preventable mistakes made by parents and caregivers involving medications given to children for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The most common error (54%) was accidental double dosing. What’s more concerning is that the rate of errors in giving kids ADHD medications has risen significantly over the past two decades. From 2000 through 2021, errors increased by almost 300%. Kids between the ages 6 and 12 years old experienced about two-thirds of the errors, and kids under age 6 were more likely to be admitted to a hospital as a result, according to a study in the Journal of Pediatrics.
Here’s some context: Authors note the increase in mistakes is likely attributable to increased prescribing of these medications. Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that prescriptions for ADHD medications rose 7.9% in a single year, from 2020 to 2021.