New studies find that most child medication poisonings do not come from the medicine cabinet. The Poison Control Center receive 500,000 calls from parent/caregivers each year because a child got into the wrong medication or was given the wrong dose. That is one call every minute. There were 67,000 children treated in emergency rooms for medicine poisoning in 2011. A new study is showing that a reason for this is drugs left lying around the house that can be picked up by small children. A report was released Wednesday by the group called Safe Kids Worldwide, out of Washington, D.C. stating that many kids pick up bottles and pills from the floor, or from purses, as well as many other spots that are easy to get at. The children in the hospital emergency room came in after swallowing the wrong medication which they did not find in the medicine cabinet. Adult’s medicines are primarily involved. The medications typically involved are belong most often to grandparents or mothers, the group discovered. These cases rose by an estimated 30 percent in ten years; the report says. This is also likely because a larger number of both prescription and over the counter medicines found in homes. While emergency room cases did go down a bit in the year between 2010 and 2011, the drop didn’t change statistics significantly.
studies show that most child poisonings are not from the medicine cabinet.
In those cases that noted the medication source, about 27 percent came off the floor or had been “misplaced;” 20 percent came out of a bag, wallet or purse, and another 20 percent were left sitting on dressers, nightstands or counters. Still, 15 percent came out of a bag containing pills or a pillbox. And, lastly, six percent came out of drawers or cabinets.
In 86 percent of the cases studies, the medicines belonged to adult caregivers. Moms (31%) and grandparents (38%) were the most common sources.
There are lots of steps that any caregivers can do to reduce the risks of children poisonings. According to Kate Carr, president and CEO for Safe Kids, the most important thing to do is keep all medications hidden and out of reach of little hands. Parents should also ensure that any visitors don’t allow their medication to stay in accessible areas. To be safe always check your floor after you or your family member has taken medication to make sure that medicine did not accidentally fall on the floor.
When you do think a child has taken any medication improperly, the best thing to do is to call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.