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Every minute of every day!

Today Safe Kids Worldwide® released a new research report that found kids are getting into medicine at an alarming rate. Every minute of every day, a poison control center receive a call about potential medicine poisoning for a child age five and younger. And 67,000 times each year, or every eight minutes, a young child goes to the emergency room for medicine poisoning. This is a 30 percent increase over the past ten years.

In its report entitled An In-Depth Look at Keeping Young Children Safe Around Medicine, Safe Kids examines data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, information from poison control centers and findings from several focus groups among moms. The report reviews what is happening in households that leads to these disturbing numbers and offers parents simple things they can do to protect their children.

Activity time…check your purse! What’s in it?

I’ll bet that you have vitamins, motrin and maybe a little Midol  – and that’s just on top.  Dig a little more.  What about hand sanitizer and diaper rash cream?  I bet you have some of that in there as well!

Here were a few interesting statistics from The Safe Kids Worldwide study related to our little activity.

  • The study found that most parents store medicine up and away, but might not always think about their own medicine. In 86% of serious cases seen in emergency rooms, the child got into medicine belonging to an adult.
  • Kids get into medication in all sorts of places, like purses and in nightstands. In 67% of cases, the medicine was within reach of a child, such as in a purse, left on a counter or on the ground.
  • Consider products you might not think about as medicines. We don’t always think about products which may not seem like medicine, but actually are. Diaper rash remedies are the #2 most common products that cause parents to call poison control centers.
  • Well-meaning visitors may not be thinking about medicines they brought into the home in their belongings. In 43% of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the child got into medicine belonging to a relative, such as an aunt, uncle or grandparent.

Clearly, we can be doing so much more to prevent potential medication poisonings.  Here are my top three today:

  1. Put medicine and vitamins up and away and out of sight. (In 67 percent of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the medicine was left within reach of the child, such as in a purse, on a counter, or under a sofa cushion.)
  2. Look around your home for products you might not think about as medicine, like rubbing alcohol, eye drops or gummy vitamins, and store them out of the reach of children.
  3. When you have guests in your home, offer to put purses, bags and coats where kids can’t get to them.

And finally, program the nationwide poison control center number (1-800-222-1222) into your phones. Let’s get these statistics lower!

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We have created this blog as a way to communicate key childrens' health and safety issues to parents and other child advocates. It is managed by Dayton Children's department of marketing communications. Comments can be sent to rodneyg@childrensdayton.org.