Accidental overdose sends 160 kids to the ER everyday

Accidental overdose sends 160 kids to the ER everyday

In 2013, over 60,000 young children were sent in hospitals, all from vitamins, pain relievers or prescription drugs that adults left within reach

Here’s another reason for parents to be more vigilant when it comes to leaving items laying around for their kids to find.

A new report from ABC News revealed that 160 children are rushed to the emergency room on a daily basis.

“In 2013, over 60,000 young children were sent in hospitals, all from vitamins, pain relievers or prescription drugs that adults left within reach,” the report said.

READ: Benadryl overdose killed 16-month-old after Mom gave the medicine

It also said that these medicines are usually found by children when they’re dropped on the ground or on countertops, often times they are accessed through pill boxes and organisers, and sometimes they’re even found in purses and diaper bags.

“Children will find medicines in all kinds of places,” said Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “We found that 23% or 1 out of 4 kids are finding the medicines in a pill box.”

These boxes are not made to prevent children from opening them, and the report also found that even child-resistant packaging in some bottles doesn’t always work.

Safe keeping medicine

“You really want to keep those drugs out of sight and out of reach,” said ABC News’ Chief Health and Medical Editor, Dr. Richard Besser.

Keeping your meds in a high cupboard is a good way to go. A locked box would also be better.

It also makes a word of difference if you particularly ask for child-resistant packaging when buying from the drug store. “It’s designed so that only 1 in ten children can get in there.”

Another tip for parents is to not take their meds when their kids are around; children naturally tend to mimic other people’s actions, and so keeping them out of sight as you consume your meds minimises that risk.

And as a precaution, it won’t hurt to remind your visitors, should you have any invited in your house, about your rules.

If all else fails, keep a list of emergency numbers at your telephone or where members of the household can easily see them, particularly the poison control hotlines.

Emergency numbers

Police: 999

Ambulance: 995

Singapore Red Cross: 6664 0500

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Written by

James Martinez

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