Friday, March 28, 2014

Just One Pill Could Kill Your Child

Every 8 Minutes, a Child Goes to an Emergency Room for Medicine Poisoning

March 26, 2014 
By Dr. Mercola

The US Poison Control Center receives nearly 500,000 calls per year related to young children accidentally getting into medicine. This works out to one call every minute of every day.

In 2012, 64,000 kids were treated in emergency rooms for medicine poisoning; that's one child every eight minutes, according to a new report from Safe Kids. The report, which is based on data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Poison Control Centers, sheds light on this entirely preventable problem, including where children are most likely to be exposed to potentially deadly medicines.  

Parents' & Grandparents' Medications Cause Most Child Drug Poisonings 

In three out of four cases of child drug poisonings, the medication belonged to a parent (39 percent of cases) or grandparent (38 percent of cases). The fact that grandparents' medication represents this much of a poisoning threat is due to the changing nature of typical households in the US.

There's been a 23 percent increase in the number of grandparents living with their grandchildren since 2005, and one in eight grandparents provide regular care for their grandchildren.

Considering that older adults are among the most heavily medicated populations, with the average adult aged 65 and older taking 28 prescriptions per year, this factor alone significantly increases children's risk of accidental drug poisoning.

The Safe Kids' report even revealed that 74 percent of grandparents said they take a prescription medicine every day, which means "kids are around more medicine than ever before." While both parents and grandparents acknowledged that the safest place to keep medications is "up and away" from children, many were making exceptions that would put kids at risk.  

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