Keep kids away from the medicine cabinet
March 20th, 2012
02:01 AM ET

Keep kids away from the medicine cabinet

It’s a stunning statistic: Each day roughly four school busloads of U.S. children – about 165 young kids – are seen in emergency rooms after getting into medications - and each visit is preventable.

Those are the findings revealed in a report by Safe Kids Worldwide, which unveiled a new initiative Tuesday called “Safe Storage, Safe Dosing, Safe Kids." The campaign calls on caregivers, medical personnel, pharmacists, drug makers and government groups to work to reduce accidental poisonings of children from medications.

“This is a brand new initiative for Safe Kids, in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of poison control centers and National Poisoning Prevention week,” says Safe Kids Worldwide president/CEO Kate Carr.

The report, which contains poisoning data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Association of Poison Control Centers, reveals that while overall U.S. poisoning deaths among kids plunged by half from 1979 to 2006 - the percentage of those deaths from medications – both prescription and over-the-counter products – has nearly doubled, jumping from 36% to 64%.

The skyrocketing trend is blamed on several factors, including more available and improperly stored medications in homes. Also, the report points to rising numbers of households with multiple generations - which increases child access to medications. Other reasons cited by the report include improperly coordinated medication dosing because of multiple caregivers, and unsupervised young children who love to put things in their mouths.

“Kids in homes are curious, “ explains Carr, “and kids are always going to be curious, so if you have medication, make sure it’s stored up and away.”

She also notes that many pills look like candy, which can be enticing to children.

Among children who are taken to the emergency room due to accidental medication overdoses, 95% swallowed products while being unsupervised, according to the report.

Something as simple as a caregiver leaving a child alone in order to use the restroom can result in an emergency situation. Five percent of emergency visits were due to caregivers making a dosing error.

Safe Kids' new initiative to fight medication-related poisonings and deaths calls for changes among caregivers, the pharmaceutical industry, the health care community, and both federal and state governments.

The plan urges parents, grandparents, childcare providers and other caregivers to become familiar with safe storage practices, and Safe Kids cites the CDC’s new “Up and Away and Out of Sight” educational program which reminds caregivers to store medications out of sight and out of reach of children.

Caregivers should never refer to medications as "candy."

It's critical that caregivers always close child-resistant bottle caps on medications, and put them out of sight and out of reach of children.

Parents and caregivers should also program the Poison Help number (1-800-222-1222) into home and cell phones.

Safe Kids calls on the pharmaceutical industry to conduct further research to reduce dosage errors, and eliminate sources of confusion on dosages of medications.

They favor improving child resistant packaging, noting that “child resistant” does not mean “child proof”, and many motivated children are able to open child resistant packaging.

The initiative also asks physicians and pharmacists to educate parents and caregivers about safe dosage practices and proper storage of medicines, as well as reminding caregivers of risks associated with common products such as vitamins, cough and cold medications and acetaminophen.

Pharmacists are urged to make sure caregivers understand how medications should be taken, including proper storage of all medications.

The report stresses that federal and local governments have “a critical role to play in medication safety,” including effective regulation of the pharmaceutical industry, supporting funding for poison control centers, providing leadership in public health education programs, and providing medication disposal program.

Carr explains that “while accidents do happen, many of them are preventable, and it’s important to identify risks and teach parents and caregivers what they can do to prevent an unneccesary accident.”

soundoff (757 Responses)
  1. pressure washing near Brevard County fl

    Wow this blog is very nice!


    June 10, 2021 at 06:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. payday loans consolidation

    Great article. Couldn't be write much better! Keep it up!


    June 10, 2021 at 07:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. payday loan debt consolidation

    Commenting on a blog is an art. Good comments create relations. You're doing great work. Keep it up.


    June 10, 2021 at 07:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Nada Funches

    Great info. Lucky me I came across your site by accident (stumbleupon). I have saved as a favorite for later!


    June 10, 2021 at 11:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Sonny Limbaugh

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you, However I am having troubles with your RSS. I donít understand the reason why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone else having the same RSS problems? Anyone who knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

    June 10, 2021 at 11:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. rv repair shops near me

    There's definately a great deal to learn about this subject. I really like all the points you have made.


    June 10, 2021 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Kiesha Tischler

    I was pretty pleased to discover this page. I want to to thank you for your time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every part of it and i also have you book-marked to look at new information on your web site.

    June 10, 2021 at 11:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Blondell Boesel


    June 10, 2021 at 18:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. rv repair shop near me

    Good post. I certainly appreciate this site. Thanks!


    June 10, 2021 at 20:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Shane Opyd

    A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. I do think that you ought to publish more on this issue, it might not be a taboo matter but generally folks don't speak about these issues. To the next! Many thanks!!

    June 10, 2021 at 21:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Buster Seay


    June 10, 2021 at 22:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Laurette Mittchell

    You've made some decent points there. I looked on the net for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.


    June 10, 2021 at 22:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. auto body repair shop raleigh

    very nice! Ireally like your blog


    June 11, 2021 at 01:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Sharon Neary


    June 11, 2021 at 01:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Dawn Dildine

    This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though


    June 11, 2021 at 05:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. rv repair service near me

    I blog quite often and I really appreciate your information. This great article has really peaked my interest. I am going to book mark your site and keep checking for new details about once per week. I opted in for your Feed as well.


    June 11, 2021 at 06:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Theron Gaye

    The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not fail me just as much as this one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read through, however I truly believed you would have something helpful to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you could possibly fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.

    June 11, 2021 at 08:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Willy Masloski


    June 11, 2021 at 09:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Donnie Serramo

    Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Thanks for providing this information.

    June 11, 2021 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Ami Bilcik

    When I initially commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the exact same comment. There has to be an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Appreciate it!

    June 11, 2021 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. shop near me

    Hello! I simply want to give you a big thumbs up for your excellent information you have here on this post. I'll be returning to your blog for more soon.


    June 11, 2021 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. rv vinyl wrap


    June 11, 2021 at 15:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Emergency Vehicle Repair Shop


    June 11, 2021 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. RV Washing Near Me


    June 11, 2021 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Sprinter Tcu Repair

    I absolutely love your site.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself? Please reply back as Iím attempting to create my own personal blog and would love to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Thanks!


    June 11, 2021 at 20:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Ac Repair Service

    Howdy! This article could not be written much better! Looking at this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I most certainly will send this information to him. Fairly certain he's going to have a great read. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 11, 2021 at 22:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. windshield repair orange county ca

    Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn't fail me just as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read through, but I genuinely thought you'd have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something you could possibly fix if you weren't too busy searching for attention.


    June 11, 2021 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. body shops in raleigh nc

    Commenting on a blog is an art. Good comments create relations. You're doing great work. Keep it up.


    June 12, 2021 at 01:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. body shops raleigh

    best i have ever seen!Hello, always i used to check webpage posts here early in the daylight, for the reason that i love to gain knowledge of more and more.


    June 12, 2021 at 01:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. after school program near gambrills

    Wow this blog is very nice!


    June 12, 2021 at 02:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. after school programs gamrbills

    carry on, dont stop


    June 12, 2021 at 06:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. school bus windshield replacement

    Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to produce a superb articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I hesitate a whole lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.


    June 12, 2021 at 06:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. after school program near gambrills md

    Thanks for wonderful information I used to be in search of this info for my mission.


    June 12, 2021 at 06:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Shades Orange County


    June 12, 2021 at 07:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Bus Repair Shop Near Me

    Hello there! I simply wish to give you a big thumbs up for your excellent info you have right here on this post. I am returning to your site for more soon.


    June 12, 2021 at 07:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. E 150 Van Power Window Repair

    Hi there! This article could not be written much better! Looking at this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept preaching about this. I'll forward this article to him. Pretty sure he's going to have a very good read. Thank you for sharing!


    June 12, 2021 at 08:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. amazon.com/mytv

    Hello it's me, I am also visiting this web page on a regular basis, this web page is really good and the users are in fact sharing pleasant thoughts.

    June 12, 2021 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. five guys near me


    June 12, 2021 at 15:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. covid testing near me


    June 12, 2021 at 16:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. dunkin donuts near me


    June 12, 2021 at 17:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. boost mobile near me


    June 12, 2021 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. fast food restaurants near me

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday. It will always be interesting to read content from other writers and use a little something from their sites.


    June 12, 2021 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Lauran Waller

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these second life websites and blogs


    June 12, 2021 at 20:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. spas near me


    June 13, 2021 at 00:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. honda dealer near me

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful article. Many thanks for providing this info.


    June 13, 2021 at 01:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. used cars for sale near me

    Great information. Lucky me I ran across your blog by chance (stumbleupon). I have saved it for later!


    June 13, 2021 at 05:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. asian food near me


    June 13, 2021 at 05:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. rentals near me

    Hi, I do think this is an excellent website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will return yet again since i have saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.


    June 13, 2021 at 07:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. quest diagnostics near me


    June 13, 2021 at 07:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. harris teeter near me

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and also the rest of the site is really good.


    June 13, 2021 at 08:06 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Leave a Reply to Sharon Neary


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.