Families are ‘first line of defense’ in protecting kids from medicine poisoning: report

prescription bottles

Photo: Pamela Moore/iStockphoto

Washington – Medicine poisonings send the equivalent of four busloads of children to the emergency department every day, warns a recent report from Safe Kids Worldwide.

Parents must take extra precautions to protect their children from ingesting medicine, the organization says. Vigilance is particularly crucial for children ages 1 and 2, who comprise about 70 percent of medicine poisoning-related emergency department visits.

Safe Kids Worldwide recommends several steps that families can take to protect kids, including:

  • Inspect any places where kids might find medicine. Move all medicine in the household up, away and out of sight.
  • Safely store any health products that could harm a child.
  • Use only the dosing device that comes with the medicine.
  • Write clear instructions for caregivers about any medicine your child takes.

“We want parents and caregivers to remember that the first line of defense in preventing medicine poisoning is the family,” Safe Kids Worldwide President and CEO Kate Carr said in a press release. “Look around your home, and in your purses, to make sure all medicine is out of reach of children. And please, take a few moments to save the Poison Help Number into your phone: 1-800-222-1222. It’s free, it’s available 24/7, and it will put you in touch directly with experts who can help you with an emergency or just with a simple question.”

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