Focus on patient safety "Medication in paediatric medicine, It’s not child’s play"

Flash sécurité patient - Posted on May 04 2023


A study published by INSERM [1] reveals that over the 2018-2019 period, on average, 86% of children under 18 years of age were exposed to at least one prescription for a medicinal produc [2] over the course of a year (…) Children under six years of age were the category with the highest exposure to medicinal products, with more than 97% of these children concerned over a one year period. Over the period from 01/03/2017 to 24/05/2022, the HAS identified 56 events in the care-related serious adverse event (SAE) reporting database related to medication misuse in the paediatric population. 28/56 of these care-related SAEs concerned children under one year of age.


By sharing feedback from professionals faced with these care-related serious adverse events, this focus aims to draw the attention of healthcare professionals to the recurrence of care-related serious adverse events due to the misuse of medications in paediatric medicine, and to make them aware of the good practice guidelines that would have prevented them.

So it doesn’t happen again

This focus highlights cases of misuse of medications in paediatric medicine related to a prescribing error, in which the dosage is not adapted to the child’s weight, a dilution error when substituting an unavailable paediatric form with an adult form, and a calculation error when converting from mg to mL.

Analysis of the root causes and deficient barriers highlights non-compliance with good practices for prescribing, administering and dispensing medication, combined with non-involvement of parents in this management.

In paediatrics, parents must be involved throughout their child’s medicinal treatment, it being particularly important to explain prescriptions to them and make sure they fully understand everything at every stage in their child’s care.

Paediatric care involves healthcare professionals PLUS the child PLUS the parents


[1]  Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale [French National institute of health and medical research].
[2] In France, medicinal product prescriptions for children remain at high levels.




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