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South African Journal of Child Health

On-line version ISSN 1999-7671
Print version ISSN 1994-3032


BEZUIDENHOUT, W et al. The knowledge and practices of caregivers regarding the administration of oral liquid medication to children at a healthcare clinic in Bloemfontein, South Africa. S. Afr. j. child health [online]. 2022, vol.16, n.3, pp.166-171. ISSN 1999-7671.

BACKGROUND. Children are dependent on their caregivers to accurately administer medication to them. OBJECTIVES. To determine the knowledge and practices of primary caregivers regarding their methods of oral liquid medication administration, preferred measuring utensils, accuracy of preferred measuring utensils and different medication classifications that they collected. The study was conducted at Pelonomi Polyclinic Pharmacy, Bloemfontein, South Africa. METHODS. A quantitative, cross-sectional descriptive study (with analytical aspects) was conducted, which used consecutive, convenient sampling. The pharmacy staff assisted in recruiting participants, after which a screening form was used to determine their eligibility. Participants were provided with an information document and consent form. The liquid medication was classified according to a drug classification list, and one medication was selected for the focus of the structured interview. The questionnaire was completed using REDCap. Thereafter, researchers used the information on the medication label to determine the accuracy of the caregiver's answers. RESULTS. The majority of the 89 participants (56.2%) answered all 3 administration-related questions correctly, with 84.3% answering the questions regarding quantity and frequency correctly. The medication measure (43.8%) was the preferred measuring utensil for any liquid medication at home, and the syringe (53.9%) for the selected liquid medication used in the interview, both accurate measuring utensils. Most children (56.2%) were prescribed 'other medication' (e.g. vitamins and mineral supplements), followed by analgesics (47.2%) and antibiotics (42.7%). CONCLUSION. Primary caregivers at Pelonomi Polyclinic Pharmacy know how to administer oral liquid medication to children accurately. Most caregivers indicated that they use accurate measuring utensils.

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