I thought I'd share with you an important article I found written by Dennis Thompson with Health Day regarding babyproofing medicine cabinets.
Here is an excerpt from the article-
"Medications tend to be more accessible to children than other toxic substances in the home, poison control experts said. And, parents tend to place too much faith in child-resistant caps and other safeguards.
"Normally what occurs when someone is taking medicine on a chronic basis, they'll leave it out," said Jay L. Schauben, a pharmacist and director of the Florida Poison Information Center in Jacksonville, Fla. "Any pills left out are within the grasp and reach of a child. Some of the medicine can look like candy. Some of the cough syrups are flavored and taste good. You can sort of see how that would be a disaster waiting to happen."
The medications children overdose on most often are the over-the-counter drugs ubiquitous to American households, said Edward Krenzelok, a pharmacist and director of the Pittsburgh Poison Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Nearly 10 percent of all poisonings in children 5 years old or younger involve common analgesics, according to the annual data report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
"The most common medication anyone's going to have around the home is a non-prescription pain reliever," Krenzelok said.
Ointments and creams, cough and cold remedies, vitamins, antihistamines and products for gastrointestinal distress cause another 21.5 percent of pediatric poisonings.
Part of the problem, the experts agree, is that people tend to not treat over-the-counter medications as something that could cause harm in young children. "They figure if they didn't need a prescription or got it from a pharmacist, it must be safe," Schauben said. "They are more apt to leave it out or have a lot more leeway leaving it on the counter."
This can lead to a child overdosing because, for instance, the child comes across medication and figures it's a treat.
"A 3-year-old may see two really pretty tablets on a counter and think they are candy, like M&Ms or Skittles," Krenzelok said.
Younger children also can be inadvertently poisoned by medications within their reach simply because little kids tend to put things in their mouths.
"They're sampling their environment," Krenzelok said. "They have a lot of hand-to-mouth activity. They constantly put things in their mouths. If you put a pen down and a 16-month-old wanders over, what are they going to do? They're going to put the pen in their mouth."
To protect children, all medications -- prescription and over-the-counter -- should be kept in a locked cabinet, out of the reach of kids, Schauben said. Avoid keeping any medications on counters or nightstands, even if the drugs are in child-resistant containers."
Click the link below to see the full article.
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