Operation Medicine Spoon launches in Syracuse

Jul 15, 2013

The Upstate New York Poison Center wants to make sure parents are giving their children the proper doses of medicine.

A recent study shows that 40 percent of parents are giving their child the wrong amount of medicine, something that can lead to a possible overdose. The reason? They are using a teaspoon out of the kitchen drawer as a measuring tool, instead of a calibrated medicine spoon, according to Upstate Poison Center Communication Director Gail Banach.

Credit Ellen Abbott/WRVO

"If you think about the size of the teaspoons and tablespoons you've had in your kitchen over the years, I'll bet you can even visualize to the fact that they are not the same size, and so obviously you're not getting the exact proper dosage," Banach said.

It's an issue that does lead to calls to the center.

"There are certainly parents who call the poison center who have used kitchen spoons, whether it's a teaspoon or tablespoon for their children, and have called with questions whether they are misdosing their children," Banach said.

As part of Operation Medicine Spoon, parents will be given a bag that includes one of these calibrated medicine spoons at one of several Upstate Medical University outpatient locations. If this pilot program is successful, it'll be expanded across the state.