Medicines are meant for saving lives, but sometimes a casual handling proves them to be fatal.
A recent study, Safe Storage, Safe dosing, Safe kids: A Report to the Nation on Safe Medication conducted by Safe Kids Worldwide, focused on the trends in morbidity and mortality of medication poisoning among children below 14 years.
According to the research, more children are admitted to hospitals for medical poisonings than for motor vehicle accidents.
The study found that the percentage of all child poisoning deaths due to medications had doubled from 36 to 64 percent though the child death rate from poisoning had been cut in half since 1970s.
The report highlighted the challenges of medication-related poisoning among children and suggested some solution to settle down the problem.
About 165 kids -- or roughly four school busloads of children -- are seen in emergency rooms for medication-related treatment every day in the U.S., said Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide.
Every one of those trips was preventable. We can and must do better, he added.
The Safe Kids is planning to educate parents, grandparents and caregivers about safe medication storage and dosing. The message will be spread through community events, traditional and social media outreach and with a full partnership in the Up and Away and Out of Sight educational program led by the centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Ultimately, safe storage and safe dosing mean safe kids, said Carr.
Together with our partners, Safe Kids Worldwide is dedicated to reducing unintentional medication ingestions and medication dosing errors in children, as well as strengthening the poison control center infrastructure in case these poisonings still occur.
Some safety tips recommended by Safe Kids Organization are:
1. Always put medicines and vitamins away after every use. Never leave them on the counter between dosing. Don't be tempted to keep them handy in a purse, backpack, or briefcase or in an unlocked cabinet or a drawer within a child's reach.
2. Always read and follow label instructions when giving medicines to children.
Only use the dosing device that comes with the medication. Never use a household utensil, such as a teaspoon or tablespoon to measure medication.
3. Up to 20 percent of pediatric poisonings involve a grandparent's medication. Make sure that all medications in the child's environment are stored out of reach and out of sight.
4. Program the nationwide poison control center number (1-800-222-1222) into your phones.