Drug Poisonings in Children is on the Rise

Studies reveal that there are over a half of a million childhood pharmaceutical poisonings in North America each year, despite the years of improved child-proofed packaging.

According to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati, more than 540,000 children, five years of age and younger have visited emergency departments due to possible medication poisonings. Data studies found that in 95% of the cases resulting in emergency visits, children had ingested the medication themselves.  Prescription drugs accounted for 55% of the visits, and 71% of those caused significant injury.  The biggest impact came from opioid-containing pain medications such as oxycodone and codeine, sedatives such as muscle relaxants and sleep aids, and cardiovascular medications.

The incidents of poisonings appears to be on the rise and it is strongly suggested that parents and caregivers keep medications under lock and key, and up and out of children’s reach.  The researchers also recommended further changes in the packaging of all pharmaceuticals, both adult and pediatric, as well as prescribed and over-the counter, in over prevent such poisonings.


Source: The Journal Of Pediatric, September 16, 2011

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