News, Culture & Society

Mum warns parents to take extra care with medication after twins end up in hospital

Why you should ALWAYS check the medication label: Mum’s urgent warning after her twins, six, are mistakenly given the wrong drug at a sleepover and are hospitalised

  • Mum-of-four Roberta Dar said her twins were given the wrong medication 
  • She says the accident occurred when a family member gave out wrong pills 
  • Her boys, aged six, were given blood pressure medication instead of Ritalin
  • Both needed to go to hospital as they were sedated and had trouble standing

A mother-of-four has urgently warned other parents to ‘triple check’ medication before giving to it kids after her twins ended up in hospital.

Roberta Dar from Wallan, north of Melbourne, said she wants others to know how easily ‘accidents can happen’ if a child’s medication isn’t properly checked – a situation she had to deal with twice.

She told FEMAIL her twin boys, aged six, had been recently been given Catapres, a medication for blood pressure, instead of Ritalin, an ADHD medication, by a family member.

Miss Dar said she had no idea there had been a terrifying mix-up until her boys returned the following day from a sleepover at a family member’s home. 

Roberta Dar’s twins, Noah and Xavier (pictured) were accidentally given medication for blood pressure by a family member

Miss Dar met up with the boys and the family member at a scheduled paediatrician appointment the next day.

‘The family member met me at the clinic and after the boys got out of the car said they didn’t think Noah looked “right”,’ she said.

It became immediately apparent to Miss Dar there was a problem as her son Noah was ‘pretty much sleeping standing up’ and Xavier also looked ‘really tired as well’. 

Roberta Dar (centre) a mum-of-four says parents need to be extra vigilant with medication as accidents can, and do, happen

Roberta Dar (centre) a mum-of-four says parents need to be extra vigilant with medication as accidents can, and do, happen

What is the safest way to ensure you are giving a child the correct medication?

* Make sure you know how much and how often to give a medicine. Writing it in your child’s health record may help you remember. 

* If in doubt, check with your pharmacist or doctor. Never give the medicine more frequently than recommended by your doctor or pharmacist.

* With liquids, always measure out the right dose for your child’s age and weight. The instructions will be on the bottle. If you are not sure check with your doctor or pharmacist.

* Sometimes, liquid medicine may have to be given using a special spoon or liquid medicine measure. 

* Never use a teaspoon as they vary in size. Ask your pharmacist to explain how a measure should be used. 

* Always read the manufacturer’s instructions supplied with the measure, and give the exact dose stated on the medicine bottle.


‘I called the family member to ask if they’d put them to bed late and they said they hadn’t,’ Miss Dar said.

‘They then said they had a terrible feeling they’d given them the wrong medication.’

After checking their medicine cabinet, Miss Dar said the family member called back in hysterics to confirm they’d made an ‘awful mistake’.

Within moments of being seen by their doctor, an ambulance was called as both boys appeared sedated and were struggling to stand.

Once admitted, medical staff checked blood pressure, performed a heart scan and checked the levels of the medication they’d taken. 

Miss Dar and her sons (pictured) were at a doctor's appointment when she became aware something was wrong

 Miss Dar and her sons (pictured) were at a doctor’s appointment when she became aware something was wrong

‘I don’t know how she got the Ritalin and the Catapres mixed up. They were in two different packages,’ Miss Dar said. 

While the twins have now returned home and are back to their ‘usual selves’, it’s something that’s left Miss Dar shaken, even more so because this is the second time this has happened.

She said the first time her son Xavier was overdosed on medication was when he was three years old.

‘The first time it was the same drug but a lot worse and was a matter of life or death,’ she said.

‘Dosage was super high and wasn’t looking great at all. It was administered by an educator at daycare.’

Because Xavier had been given eight tablets instead of an eighth of a tablet, he needed to be intubated and air-lifted to hospital. 

The seriousness of his situation meant it was three days before he was discharged.

This is the second time Miss Dar said she's had to deal with a child who has been accidentally given the incorrect medication

This is the second time Miss Dar said she’s had to deal with a child who has been accidentally given the incorrect medication

Miss Dar said she now takes a ‘super cautious’ approach to how she administers the boys’ medication and said she makes sure she keeps everything separate to ensure situations like these don’t occur in her home.

She urges parents and caregivers to always triple check any medication before giving it out to kids, especially if any look similar.

‘Double and triple check before you give out medicine to make sure it’s the correct type and right dosage,’ she said.

‘Write everything down before you give it out so there’s no chance of forgetting and doubling up.’   


Comments are closed.