Four school busloads of kids go to the emergency room every day for medicine poisoning, according to a new national study from Safe Kids Worldwide. That’s more than 59,000 kids a year.
“There are three times as many prescriptions filled today as compared to 1980,” said Kate Carr President/CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “When it comes to over the counters we’ve seen a five-fold increase since 1980.”
With all of those medicines now in the home, we know that it’s a risk for young kids, Carr said.
Almost every minute of every day, a call is made to a poison control center because a child got into medicine, according to the report.
“The kids who are most at risk are our young little explorers, the one’s who are a year or 2 years old,” she said. “Who are crawling or just learning to walk and they’re getting into things that perhaps parents or grandparents or caregivers weren’t quite prepared that they were ready to get into.”
Remember child resistant caps aren’t child proof, Carr said.
“Kids were getting into grandparents medicines in 48 percent of the time,” she said. “A quarter of emergency room visits were related to kids getting into medicine in pill boxes, medicines that were left on counters or found in a purse.”
Here are a few tips that Safe Kids World Wide recommends to help keep kids safe:
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 health products including diaper rash creams and multivitamins.
- Use the dosing device that comes with the medicine.
- Write clear instructions for other people who give your child medicine.
- Save the Poison Help Number in your phone: 1-800-222-1222.
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