In its report entitled An In-Depth Look at Keeping Young Children Safe Around Medicine, Safe Kids Worldwide examines data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, information from poison control centers and findings from several focus groups among moms. The report reviews what is happening in households that leads to these disturbing numbers and offers parents simple things they can do to protect their children.
The increase in exposure reflects the increase in medicines in the home. Most adults take medicine or vitamins on a regular basis; eight out of ten adults took at least one medicine or vitamin in the past week, and three out of ten adults took five or more. But they don’t always keep them up and away from kids. In 86 percent of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the child got into medicine belonging to an adult.
Tips to Keep Kids Safe Around Medicine
- Put medicine and vitamins up and away and out of sight. (In 67 percent of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the medicine was left within reach of the child, such as in a purse, on a counter, or under a sofa cushion.)
- Even if you are tempted to keep it handy, put medicine out of reach after every use.
- Look around your home for products you might not think about as medicine, like rubbing alcohol, eye drops or gummy vitamins, and store them out of the reach of children.
- When you have guests in your home, offer to put purses, bags and coats where kids can’t get to them. (In 43 percent of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the child got into medicine belonging to a relative, such as an aunt, uncle or grandparent.)
- Be alert to medicine in places your child visits. Take a look around to make sure there isn’t medicine within reach of your child.
- Program the nationwide poison control center number (1-800-222-1222) into your phones.
- Visit SafeKids.org for more tips on safe storage, safe dosing and safe disposal of medicine.
Medication safety presentation available to your organization
We need to act. The Safe Kids Worldwide research reveals surprising findings about how children are getting into medicine. Over the last decade there has been a 30 percent increase in the number of emergency department visits for medicine poisoning in young children. The study found that, for ED visits, more often than not, the medicine a child got into belonged to someone else, and was not the child’s own medicine.
Medication poisonings in young children can be prevented. A few simple tips based on insights learned from this new research can help parents and caregivers keep kids safe. Join us, and together we can be part of the change to help keep children safe from medication poisoning. There are many easy ways you can help. Dayton Children’s and Safe Kids Greater Dayton have a presentation targeted at parents and caregivers to teach them some basic tips about medication safety. This presentation is a perfect opportunity to share these important safety messages. Please contact Kelli Sharp, community outreach specialist, at email@example.com to schedule this presentation at your organization.
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