The increase of medicines in the home since 1980 is staggering: Today there are three times as many prescriptions filled in the U.S. and five times as many dollars spent on over-the-counter medicines. With more medicine in the home than ever before, Safe Kids Worldwide is putting parents on alert to be vigilant about protecting their children from medicine poisoning.
A new report released today by Safe Kids Worldwide, “The Rise of Medicine in the Home: Implications for Today’s Children,” explores the scope of the situation. While medicines play a vital role in treating disease, relieving symptoms and extending lives, they can cause serious harm to children who accidentally ingest them.
Most families believe they are being careful about storing medicine away from children, but the alarming number of children being rushed to emergency rooms with medicine poisoning – one every nine minutes – demonstrates the need for families to stay vigilant in their efforts to protect their children from medicine poisoning.
SafeKidsSafe.org created this amazing infographic that illustrates the problems and solutions:
Who is at Greatest Risk?
Toddlers, those adventure-seeking explorers, are the most likely to been seen in the emergency room for medicine poisoning. In fact, 1- and 2-years olds make up seven out of ten emergency room visits for medicine poisoning. Parents of toddlers need to be extra attentive to storing medicine where young children can’t reach them.
Where Are Kids Finding Medicine?
Parents are often surprised to learn where kids are finding medicine, like on the ground, in purses, in diaper bags, on counters, in reachable cabinets and in refrigerators. The same daily medicine boxes that make pill taking easy for adults are also easy for young children to get into. Safe Kids encourages families to look around the home to see unexpected places where medicine might be within the reach of children.
Whose Medicine Are Kids Getting Into?
A review of ER records[i] showed that almost half the time (48%), the medicine kids got into belonged to a grandparent and 38 percent of the time it belonged to parents. Both parents and grandparents need to be diligent about keeping medicine out of reach, even those they take every day.
What Families Can Do to Protect Kids
- Check all the places where kids find medicine and move all medicine up and away and out of sight.
- Remember to safely store all potentially harmful health products.
- Only use the dosing device that comes with the medicine.
- Write clear instructions for caregivers about your child’s medicine.
- Save the Poison Help line in your phone: 1-800-222-1222 FREE.
- For more medicine safety tips, visit SafeKids.org
Source: PR Newswire
Anllelic Lozada “Angie” is a proud P.A.N.K (professional aunt with no kids), a Personal Marketing Strategist in NYC and Los Tweens & Teens “Tia-in-Charge,” based in New York City. Anllelic wants you to best your best life so you can positively influence your tween and teen. Subscribe to her weekly e-newsletter in Spanish in marketingparatucarrera.com/Vendete, where she shares personal marketing strategies to help you “Comunicar lo genial que eres.”