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Friday, September 16, 2011

Rise in Prescription Drug Children Poisonings


There is hardly a house in America that doesn’t have a medicine cabinet full of prescription drugs. More and more people are turning to pharmaceuticals to deal with their mental health concerns as well the management of pain. Unfortunately, parents more times than not fail to keep their drugs locked up and as a result there is a growing number of children in the United States who are being accidentally poisoned when they swallow prescription drugs, according to a new study.

The report found that sedatives, opioids, and heart drugs are the most common cause of children’s poisonings, according to Reuters. There were 544,000 visits to emergency rooms in children age 5 and younger between 2001 and 2008. 454,000 involved a single medication. The visits resulted in 66 deaths according to researchers from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio which reviewed all calls made to U.S. poison control centers from emergency rooms when children accidentally ingested a drug.

Just over the course of the study, the number of children that went to the emergency room due to accidental poisoning increased by 30 percent. The increase is testament to the fact that there has been a rise in the number of prescription medications that people have in their home.

Parents need to be extra vigilant about keeping their prescription drugs in safe place and ideally locked up. There is very little room for error when it comes to children and prescription drugs tailored for adults. Disposing of old prescriptions that are no longer required is always a good practice, don’t just throw them away bring them to a safe place for disposal like the pharmacy or, in some cases, the local police stations.

The findings published in The Journal of Pediatrics.

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