Children are more susceptible to harm from medicines due to a number of factors.

Why does this standard need special consideration by health service organisations that provide care for children?

Children are more susceptible to harm from medicines because:

  • The absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of medicines in children varies with age
  • Children’s weight varies with growth and changing activity levels
  • The dosage of medications for children is often nonstandardised and weight-dependent
  • There may be difficulties associated with administering medications to children
  • Children’s capacity to communicate medication problems when they occur is variable.
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Last updated 3rd July, 2018 at 01:14am
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References

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29. Institute for Safe Medication Practices. Independent double checks: undervalued and misused: selective use of this strategy can play an important role in medication safety [Internet]. Horsham, PA: ISMP; 2013 [cited 2017 Sep].

30. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. Evidence briefings on interventions to improve medication safety: double-checking medication administration. Sydney: ACSQHC; 2013 (accessed Sep 2017).

31. Gazarian M, Kelly M, McPhee J, Graudins L, Ward R, Campbell T. Of-label use of medicines: consensus recommendations for evaluating appropriateness. Med J Aust 2006;185(10):544–8.

32. Council of Australian Therapeutic Advisory Groups. Rethinking medicines decision-making in Australian hospitals: guiding principles for the quality of of-label medicines. Sydney: CATAG; 2013.

33. World Health Organization. Promoting safety of medicines for children. Geneva: WHO; 2007 (accessed May 2016).

34. Neuspiel DR, Taylor MM. Reducing the risk of harm from medication errors in children. Health Serv Insights 2013;6:47–59.

35. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. National statement on health literacy: taking action to improve safety and quality. Sydney: ACSQHC; 2014 (accessed Jul 2016).

36. NPS MedicineWise. How to give medicines to children [Internet]. Surry Hills: NPS MedicineWise; 2017 [updated 2017 Mar 24; cited 2017 Jul].

37. World Health Organization. Essential medicines and health products – pharmacovigilance [Internet]. Geneva: WHO [cited 2017 Nov 23].

38. Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network. High risk medicines register policy. Sydney: SCHN; 2015 (accessed Jul 2016).

39. Clinical Excellence Commission. High risk medicines – A PINCH [Internet]. Sydney: CEC; [cited 2017 Jul 12].

40. NSW Ministry of Health. Safe administration of liquid medicines by routes other than injection. Sydney: NSW Health; 2012 (accessed May 2017).