Medicines Pose A Greater Risk For Little Kids Than Chemicals.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two of every three pediatric poisonings that result in an...
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two of every three pediatric poisonings that result in an emergency room visit are caused by medication overdoses. That may surprise you, especially since everyone is always talking about the dangers of chemicals and cleaning supplies. However, research shows that parents are more diligent nowadays about locking away (or not using) harmful household chemicals, but often forget that something as simple as aspirin poses a major safety risk for kids. The biggest danger - the medicine cabinet: The CDC notes that the rate of childhood poisonings caused by medication overdoses is double the rate of poisonings from cleaning substances, pesticides, personal care products and other toxic household substances put together. This makes the medicine cabinet the most dangerous place in your home; especially if you have a newly walking (and hyper curious) baby or toddler. Poison control experts note that the reason is likely because parents don't go far enough when locking up medications and many parents place too much faith in child-resistant caps and other safeguards. Take it from me - my son managed to disengage the toilet safety latch about three times - kids are smarter than we think. Those child-safe medication lids, may not be as safe as you assume. Where gaps in safety occur: When someone is taking medicine on a chronic basis they tend to leave it out. A lot of medicine can look and even taste like candy. Nearly 10% of all poisonings in children 5 years old or younger involve common analgesics, according to the annual data report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers. I.e. the most common medications are left out most often, meaning parents may assume that the more common the medication, the safer it is, but that's not true. Any medication can harm (or kill) a child, even in small amounts. In fact, ointments and creams, cough and cold remedies, vitamins, antihistamines and products for gastrointestinal distress cause 21.5% of pediatric poisonings. Many parents assume that over-the-counter medications are safe and prescription medications aren't. BOTH are very dangerous for kids. How to keep your child safe:
- All medications -- prescription, over-the-counter, creams, liquids, all of it -- should be kept in a locked cabinet, out of the reach of kids.
- Never keep medications on counters or nightstands, even if the drugs are in child-resistant containers.
- Make sure you throw away medications safely.
- Experts note that the medicine cabinet is the absolute worst place to keep your medications because kids are drawn to off-limit places and can easily climb on a bathroom sink or counter. Up in a closet or a high kitchen cupboard may be safer.
- Parents should be alert to potential drug poisonings when there are guests in the house as guests don't always consider drug safety, especially if they're childless.
- Don't forget that items like toothpaste can cause poisoning.
- Know that child medications can also poison a child. Just because it's child-friendly, doesn't mean it's okay in excess.