Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



Accidental Medication Poisonings in Kids on the Rise

Accidental Medication Poisonings in Kids on the Rise

09/16/11

FRIDAY, Sept. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Despite ongoing prevention efforts, a growing number of young children are being accidentally poisoned with medications, according to new research.

The study, which was based on data reported to the American Association of Poison Control Centers between 2001 and 2008, found that medication poisoning among children aged 5 and under increased by 22 percent, although the number of children in the United States in this age group rose by only 8 percent during the study period.

"The problem of pediatric poisoning in the U.S. is getting worse, not better," Dr. Randall Bond, of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, said in a hospital news release.

In conducting the study, which is scheduled for publication in the Journal of Pediatrics, the researchers reviewed information on over 544,000 children who landed in the emergency department due to medication poisoning over the course of the seven-year study period.

The vast majority (95 percent) of emergency department visits were the result of self-ingestion (the kids took the medicine themselves by accident), the investigators found. Prescription drugs were involved in 55 percent of the emergency visits, 76 percent of the hospitalizations and 71 percent of significant injuries.

Opioid-containing pain medications (such as morphine, codeine and oxycodone), as well as muscle relaxants, sleeping pills and heart medications had the biggest impact, the study authors noted in the news release.

The researchers suggested that the reason for the trend is likely due to greater availability and easier access to medications in children's homes. They also noted that "poison-proofing" efforts, such as safe guards on packaging and child-proofing in the home, may have declined in recent years.

"Prevention efforts of parents and caregivers to store medicines in locked cabinets or up and away from children continue to be crucial. However, the largest potential benefit would come from packaging design changes that reduce the quantity a child could quickly and easily access in a self-ingestion episode, like flow restrictors on liquids and one-at-a-time tablet dispensing containers," said Bond.

He added that these types of changes should apply to both pediatric and adult prescription and over-the-counter medications.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advice on how to protect children from accidental poisoning.

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse Hospital Appoints Chief Information Officer
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >