THE OLD AND MUCH maligned cliché "take two aspirin and call me in the morning" deserves more credit than we give it. It does give the exact dose, implies a time frame, and requests a proper follow-up. Perhaps we should strive to emulate its specifics in the instructions we give our patients and their parents.
In their article, Simon and Weinkle1 raise several important issues regarding the accuracy and measurement of a dose of acetaminophen (Tylenol) by parents. Do we give proper instructions considering the patient's age and weight when recommending therapy? Do we assume, perhaps falsely, that parents know the dose and how to accurately measure the amount? Do we just say, give your child a little Tylenol? This certainly is done frequently with telephone advice. Maybe we are just as vague with advice in the office. The exact dose, the interval between doses, and the duration of