Medication poisonings send kids to hospitals every 8 minutes: report

Washington – Every eight minutes, a child is taken to an emergency department as a result of poisoning from prescription or over-the-counter medication, according to a recently released report from Safe Kids Worldwide.

The report, Keeping Families Safe Around Medicine, states that of these poisonings, 77 percent were the result of a child obtaining medication intended for a parent or grandparent (39 percent and 38 percent, respectively).

Researchers surveyed more than 1,000 grandparents who regularly supervise children and found that three-fourths of the grandparents reported taking at least one medication daily. Twelve percent reported leaving medication on a nightstand or dresser, where a child can find it. And 3 out of 10 grandparents said they keep their medications in easy-to-open packaging.

To help keep children safe from medication poisoning, Safe Kids recommends families:

  • Keep all medicine up and out of the reach of children.
  • Ensure use of child-resistant caps for medication bottles.
  • Coordinate with other caregivers about who is taking which medications.
  • Program the number for the nationwide Poison Help Number – (800) 222-1222 – in your phone.