More than 150 kids are sent to the emergency room department daily due to accidental medicine overdoses. This equate to about four buses filled with kids going on trips to the emergency room every day.
A new report from Safe Kids Worldwide looked in the ongoing situation and yielded such alarming results.
Medicines Then And Now
Medicines are essential for treating diseases, alleviating clinical symptoms and prolonging lives. For some people, taking medicines have become a routine part of their lives as they need to take maintenance medications for chronic diseases.
Since the 1980s, medicines found in household have exhibited a steady increase. At present, there are three times more prescription drugs found at home than before. Also, people are spending five times more money on over-the-counter drugs.
Such trend means that kids at home are at a more increased risk of being exposed to these potentially harmful drugs. Yes, medicines are beneficial, but when little children ingest it accidentally, the results can be devastating.
Why Is This Happening?
Parents and carers at home are the first persons to ensure that children, regardless of age, are protected from unwarranted ingestion of medicines. Adults are well aware of this, yet every nine minutes, a child is being treated at the ER due to medicine poisoning.
One reason that the report stated is the improper storage of the medicines. Parents unknowingly put drugs in places where children can easily reach it. Sometimes, they do not realize that it only takes a minute or two for young, curious children to get their hands on these medicines.
Another prevalent finding is that 95 percent of accidental medicine poisoning among kids happen when parents and carers are not looking.
What Can We Do?
Most cases of medicine overdoses occur in toddlers aged 1-2 years old — the age of being highly adventurous. Parents are then advised to be more well aware of the risks and the interventions they can do to avoid overdoses.
Safe Kids Worldwide recommends parents to always stay alert, keep drugs in a safe place and teach older children about medicine safety.
"This report is a call to action to families and caregivers," the authors write.