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Medication errors affect the pediatric age group in all settings: outpatient, inpatient, emergency department, and at home. Children may be at special risk due to size and physiologic variability, limited communication ability, and treatment by nonpediatric health care providers. Those with chronic illnesses and on multiple medications may be at higher risk of experiencing adverse drug events. Some strategies that have been employed to reduce harm from pediatric medication errors include e-prescribing and computerized provider order entry with decision support, medication reconciliation, barcode systems, clinical pharmacists in medical settings, medical staff training, package changes to reduce look-alike/sound-alike confusion, standardization of labeling and measurement devices for home administration, and quality improvement interventions to promote nonpunitive reporting of medication errors coupled with changes in systems and cultures. Future research is needed to measure the effectiveness of these preventive strategies.
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