Adult meds tied to increase in child poisonings: study

Columbus, OH – Poisonings among young children increased more than 12 percent from 2000 to 2010, largely driven by medications found in the home, according to a new study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Using data from five states, researchers identified more than 2.5 million poison exposures in children younger than 6, with a 33 percent increase in medication-related exposures, according to the study abstract. Many of those cases led to serious medical outcomes, including 119 deaths.

Researchers suggested more adults using medications – such as dietary supplements, antipsychotics and cardiovascular drugs – was behind the increase in poisonings. The only medication with a decrease in poisonings was cough and cold pharmaceuticals. Researchers attributed the decrease to the Food and Drug Administration issuing an advisory about them in 2009.

In a press release, researchers recommended keeping medications, including supplements and non-prescription pills, locked up and out of children’s reach.

The study was published in the May issue of the journal Pediatric Emergency Care.