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Friday, March 22, 2013

Child Accidental Poisoning Cases

Prescription medications are dangerous even when they are taken as prescribed. Prescription narcotics are the cause of thousands of overdoses every year, in most cases prescription drug overdoses are accidents that, in many cases, result in fatalities.

Unfortunately, small children sometimes get their hands on prescription medications that end up resulting in them presenting in the emergency room from accidental poisonings. In most cases the medications came from a mother’s purse or the floor rather than from the medicine cabinet, according to a new report. The nonprofit group Safe Kids Worldwide released the report which also found that children find pills in other unlikely places, such as sofa cushions and counter tops, USA Today reports.

2,315 emergency department cases regarding children up to the age 4 were researched. Their findings showed that approximately 67,000 young children ended up in the emergency room after being accidentally exposed to medication in 2011. Young children who experienced accidental poisonings rose 30 percent in a single decade, according to researchers.

Accidental poisonings amongst children could be accounted by:
  • 27 percent on the floor or misplaced
  • 20 percent from a purse, bag, or wallet
  • 20 percent left on: counters, tables, nightstands, or dressers
  • 15 percent in a pill box or bag of pills
  • 6 percent in a drawer or cabinet
  • 12 percent from other places

86 percent of cases of accidental poisonings the medications belonged to adults. Mothers accounted for 31 percent and grandparents accounted for 38 percent. 

“You have some grandparents who have their whole pharmacy on the kitchen counter or the bathroom counter, and it is there for the taking,” Salvador Baeza, a pharmacist who directs the West Texas Regional Poison Center in El Paso, told the newspaper.
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