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Protecting Children from Ingesting Prescription Medications

November 23, 2016

Typically from Halloween through the Holidays, there is a good chance many people have candy in there house. Children and their little hands are tempted to sneak it without the parents knowing. Unfortunately, a lot of prescription medications look like candy.


"They look exactly alike, so it's very, very easy for a child to think it's candy, if they're used to eating candy," said Rob Webb, a paramedic with Priority Ambulance. He continued, "Actually it happens more than you think."


Approximately 60,000 children are taken to emergency room each year due to finding and swallowing prescription medicines that were not properly stored. Research has shown that most of the poisonings happen at home, either in the kitchen, bathroom or bedroom.


Paramedics recommend storing medications high in a cabinet that even an adult would have trouble reaching. They also suggest storing them in a lockbox. The most important thing is to educate the children in the home to leave the medications alone.  Another way to reduce the risk of children getting into medications is to get rid of the ones that are no longer being used or have expired. Do not flush them down a toilet. Drop off the medications at a "drug take-back" event that are held several times a year in local communities.


If parents suspect their child has accidentally taken prescription medications, they need to immediately call poison control. Poison Control can tell them what to do and to call 911, if necessary. Depending on the medication, a parent may not see any negative signs right away.


- Story from Ryan O'Donnell with WATE.com

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