Adults Unintentionally Make It Easy for Young Children to Eat Dangerous Pills

CDC Weekly Update –

Each year there are about 400,000 poison center calls and 50,000 ER visits as a result of young children ingesting medications when adults weren’t paying attention. A new study finds that more than half of the time when children get into prescription pills, the medication had already been removed from the child-resistant container by an adult.

The findings come from a study of calls to five U.S. poison control centers by researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Emory University School of Medicine, and the Georgia Poison Center. The study appears this week in The Journal of Pediatricsexternal icon.

“These data suggest it may be time to place greater emphasis on encouraging adults to keep medicines in containers with child-resistant features,” says the study’s senior author, Daniel Budnitz, M.D., MPH, of CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion. “There is an opportunity here for innovative medication container options that promote adult adherence and provide portability and convenience, while maintaining child safety.”

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