Study Affirms Importance of Educating Parents on Safely Administering Liquid OTC Medicine

CHPA Educational Foundation conducts study to better understand parent attitudes and behaviors when administering OTC liquid medicines
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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — The CHPA Educational Foundation today released findings from a study examining the common attitudes and behaviors of parents when administering pediatric over-the-counter (OTC) liquid medicines to young children. 

The study, which was conducted in partnership with Great Lakes Marketing Research, surveyed 1,400 parents of children between the ages of four and six, and found that nearly one in four parents don’t believe OTC medicines are strong enough to require precise dosing. Moreover, one in five parents believe using a household spoon is okay for measuring OTC medicines.

“The findings from the study reinforce the foundation’s work to remind parents and caregivers that OTC medicines, while safe and effective when used as directed, are serious medications,” said Anita Brikman, executive director of the CHPA Educational Foundation. “Using a spoon from your kitchen is not an accurate way to measure medicine to give to a child. Instead, parents should always use the dosing device that comes with the medicine. That way they can rest assured they are giving their child the proper amount of medicine. With liquid being the most commonly used and preferred form of pediatric medicine by parents, we want to remind parents to always read and follow the directions provided on the Drug Facts label, and to direct any questions to their doctor or pharmacist.”

Through its Treat with Care campaign, the foundation also works to educate parents on the importance of reading and following the Drug Facts label and to use the dosing or measuring device that comes with the medicine.

“Proper dosing is critical, but so too is proper storage,” Brikman said. “Parents should always store medications up and away and out of sight of young children.”

More information on safe dosing can be found on the foundation’s website:

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) Educational Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to make smart self-care decisions by providing information and guidance on how to safely use, store, and dispose of OTC medicines and dietary supplements. Its mission is to serve as the trusted source of information on the responsible use of consumer healthcare products. Visit or for more information.