Children can be quite creative when it comes to opening containers and packages they aren't supposed to touch. Unfortunately, that ingenuity can often result in accidental overdoses when those skills are brought to bear on the medicine bottle.
The situation has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to introduce a new program to educate parents and caregivers about safe medication storage and what to do in an emergency. WebMD reports:
Researchers say more than 60,000 young children in the U.S. are treated in emergency rooms each year for accidental overdoses because they got into medicines when their parent or caregiver wasn't looking.
Those risks may increase during the holidays when visitors leave coats, purses, or suitcases with medications where young children can reach them.
...To combat the problem, the CDC and a coalition of health partners are launching a new "Up and Away and Out of Sight" campaign to encourage parents to protect children from accidental drug overdoses.
The campaign includes simple steps to ensure children's safety:
- Put medicines and vitamins away every time you use them. Never leave them out on a kitchen counter or at a sick child's bedside, even if you have to give the medicine again in a few hours.
- Listen for the click to make sure the safety cap on medicines is locked.
- Teach children about medicine safety. Never tell children that medicine is candy to get them to take it.
- Tell guests about medicine safety. Ask house guests and visitors to keep purses, bags, and coats that have medicines in them up and away and out of sight when they are visiting.