7 Simple Ways to Protect Your Child From an Accidental Poisoning
Have you ever thought about where medicines are kept in your home through the eyes of your child? Medicines left on counters, nightstands, in purses and bags, or on the ground are easily within reach of a young child. What's more, many medicines are brightly colored and look like candy, making them appetizing to children.
Did you know approximately 60,000 young children visit the emergency room each year due to accidental ingestion of medicines1? That's 1 child every 8 minutes. Accidents like these should be prevented year-round, but National Poison Prevention Week is a timely reminder to take a fresh look at your home through the eyes of your child, and to take some simple steps to make sure all medicines and vitamins are stored Up and Away and Out of Sight.
1. Store all medicines out of reach of children. Any medicine or vitamin can be dangerous if it's not taken as directed by the label—even over-the-counter medicines. Walk around your home and find the best place to store medicines up and away and out of sight of young children.
2. Put medicines up and away after each use. It's easy to leave medicines on the nightstand when caring for your child in the middle of the night, or on the kitchen counter when taking medicine with food. However, most accidents happen when the medicine is within reach. So, no matter the situation, always put medicines and vitamins away immediately after each use.
3. Did you hear the "click?" Always relock the safety cap on medicine bottles.If the medicine has a locking cap that turns, twist it until you hear the "click" or until you can't twist anymore. Remember, even though many medicines and vitamins have safety caps, children may be able to open them, so store all medicines up and away and out of sight.
4. Medicine isn't candy.It's important to explain to your children what medicine is and why you or another caregiver must be the one to give it to them. But never tell your children medicine is candy, even if your children don't like to take their medicine.
5. Don't forget about visitors in your home.Always remind guests to keep purses, bags, or coats that have medicines in them up and away when they're in your home. This includes everyday items like birth control pills, which to a child might seem like a new toy with lots of little pieces.
6. Set reminders to take your medicines and vitamins on your refrigerator, cell phone, or near your medicine cabinet. Many families have multiple people in the home taking medicines at the same time, and, as a caregiver, it isn't always easy to keep track. Setting reminders is an easy way to track each person's medicine use and dosages.
7. Save the Poison Help number (800-222-1222) in your cell phone so you'll have it in case of an emergency, and make sure it is available for your babysitter or other caregiver before leaving the house. Did you know that each poison center is staffed with doctors, pharmacists, toxicologists, and other experts that can answer your questions 24/7? Call Poison Help right away if you think your child might have gotten into a medicine or vitamin, even if you are not completely sure.
Oral chemotherapy is cancer medicine that is taken by mouth. These medicines come as tablets, capsules, or liquids that can be swallowed. As a result, oral chemotherapy can be taken at home. For people with cancer, taking a medicine by mouth is easier than intravenous (IV) chemotherapy given through a vein because they don't have to go to the hospital or clinic to have the medicine administered. However, even though these medicines can be taken by mouth, they are not necessarily safer than IV chemotherapy. In fact, chemotherapy pills can be just as strong as the chemotherapy given through a vein by injections and infusions. Mistakes with oral chemotherapy medicine can lead to serious side effects and even death.
FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA warns of next-day impairment with sleep aid
If you take the prescription sleeping pill Lunesta (eszopiclone) or generics, you may need to take a lower dose according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A recent study found that the medicine may still be in the body in high enough amounts the morning after taking it to impair activities that require alertness, including driving.
Designer pain creams and ointments are profitable for compounding pharmacies but risky for patients and children
Certain pharmacies, known as compounding pharmacies, can mix different ingredients together to produce a patient-specific product. Popular compounded products include pain creams and ointments that contain a combination of multiple potent medications. Many include drugs that can cause central nervous system depression or cardiac effects that result in slow breathing, a low heart rate or irregular beat, and drowsiness or a loss of consciousness. These drugs may include:
International drugs may have same name but different uses
Many people rely on prescription and/or over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to treat an array of conditions. When traveling, either for business or leisure, that doesn’t change. So, if you will be traveling outside your home country, there is something important you need to know about medicines. The country you are traveling to may have the same brand name medicine available but it may actually contain a different ingredient that is used to treat a different condition.