Please fill in your e-mail address to be included in our newsletter.
You may opt out at any time.

close this box

cheap viagra at lowest price

Medicines Top Source of Kids' Poisonings

by The Kid's Doctor Staff

Every year, more than 71,000 American children under the age of 18 are seen in emergency rooms for unintentional overdoses of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Now a new government report shows that the leading cause of those accidental poisonings can be found in the family medicine cabinet.

The team of researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that more than two-thirds of emergency department visits are due to poisoning from prescription and over-the-counter medications. That’s more than double the rate of childhood poisonings caused by household cleaning products, plants and the like.

“Medication overdoses are most common among 2-year-olds,” said lead researcher Dr. Daniel Budnitz, director of the CDC’s Medication Safety Program in the division of health-care quality promotion. “About one out of every 180 2-year-olds visits an emergency department for a medication overdose each year.”

More than 80 percent of these overdoses are due to unsupervised ingestion, Budnitz noted. “Basically, it’s young children finding and eating medicine without adult supervision,” he said. “They are found with an empty bottle or pills in their mouth or something, and they are taken to the emergency department.”

In addition, medication errors by caregivers or adults and misuse of drugs by preteens and teens cause about 14 percent of accidental poisonings, Budnitz said. “Basically, that’s not following directions,” he said.

The report appears in the September edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

For the study, Budnitz’s team used 2004 and 2005 data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System to estimate the number of emergency department visits resulting from unintentional medication overdoses for children aged 18 and younger.

The most common medications accidentally taken by children are acetaminophen, opioids or benzodiazepines, cough and cold medicines, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and antidepressants, Budnitz said.

To help reduce the number of incidents of unintentional poisonings, especially in younger children, Budnitz believes drug manufacturers must create better child safety caps, including caps that limit the dose that can be dispensed. Currently, the CDC is working with over-the-counter drug manufacturers to encourage the implementation of new “passive” safety caps, Budnitz said. These caps do not require that the user to do anything but close it to work, or they allow only a measured dose to be dispensed at one time.

Of course, there are things that can be done right now by parents and caregivers, Budnitz said. These include making sure the cap is tightly secured after taking medication and placing the bottle well out of the reach of toddlers.

Related Posts on www.kidsdr.com

Share this post:
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Google
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • LinkedIn
Email This Post
Print This Post

What Do You Think? Leave Us Your Comment.