Protecting your child from accidental medication overdose

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - We all know it’s important to store medicine up and away from children, yet each year more than 60,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency rooms due to accidental medication poisoning. Making the problem worse, many medicines look and even taste like candy.


Nearly three in five parents think if medicine is out of reach, it’s in a safe place, says Dr. Ryan Redman, the emergency room director and Children's Hospital. However, research shows that in about half of over-the-counter medication poisoning cases, the child climbed on a chair, toy or other device to reach medicine.

Additionally, one in three parents think if their child is being watched, it doesn’t matter as much where medicines are stored. But, parents frequently tell ER doctors that they’d only turned their back for a minute or so.

 Half of parents think child-resistant packaging means a child won’t be able to get into medicine at all. But, Redmond says, research shows that about half of accidental poisonings involved child-resistant packaging. 

Here are some tips to keep your child safe:

  • Store all medicine, prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and supplements up and out of sight of kids all the time. 
  • Make sure all care takers of your child store medicine away (remember this when visiting family and friends)
  • Put the Poison Help number in to your phone for emergencies: 1-800-222-1222

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