From the time your child was just a twinkle in your eye, you’ve been thinking of ways to keep him safe from harm. Your home was baby-proofed, then toddler-proofed, and finally you began to breathe a little easier as your young child got a bit older.
What you may not know is that there is still a very serious danger lurking in your home, and it can be deadly to your kids no matter what their age.
Not even your teens are safe from the perils of this life threatening, hidden household menace: pills.
From seemingly innocent vitamins and natural supplements, to over-the-counter medications and prescriptions from a doctor, pills and medications are the #1 danger to every child in your home.
Surprised? Consider the following:
- Across the United States, around 800,000 kids are rushed to the emergency room each year because of accidental poisoning. 30 of these children will die.
- 70% of non-fatal poisonings involve children ages 1 to 2.
- 90% of child poisonings occur in the home.
- One in nine kids under the age of eighteen abuse prescription painkillers.
Accidental poisoning is the #2 cause of unintentional injury death in the United States, according to the CDC. The only thing that causes more injury and death is car crashes.
Here’s what you need to know about the specific risks of medications to your children at every age.
Your youngest children are busy, busy, busy. They are always exploring, and everything is interesting to them. When something catches their attention, the first place it goes is straight into their mouths. Is it any wonder, then, that they are most at risk for accidental poisoning?
70% of non-fatal poisonings involve children ages 1 to 2, and 55% of all poison exposures involve medications.
Even vitamins pose have serious poison potential for curious toddlers. Each year, more than 60,000 instances of vitamin toxicity are reported to US poison control centers.
Vitamins often look, smell, and even taste like candy. An inquisitive toddler won’t need much encouragement to put that into his mouth. If you think childproof caps will keep your toddler safe, you are mistaken.
Securing all medications, including vitamins and supplements, in a locked location out of sight and out of reach, helps reduce the risk of poisoning.
The Perils of Child Poisonings and the Power of Prevention
Child poison prevention starts at home. Learn about the potential dangers in your home and how you can best keep your little ones safe at home.
- Over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers, cough and cold remedies, vitamins and iron tablets, antihistamines, and anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Prescription medications such as antidepressants, and narcotic analgesics (pain relievers).
Many incidents of child poisoning occur when kids ingest their grandparents’ medications, which are carried around in a purse in a standard pill container, or in a daily pill dispenser.
Certain heart and pain medications that grandma may innocently bring into the home are so potent that a single pill is capable of killing a small child.
While fatalities are the most devastating risk of childhood poisoning, they are not the only peril. Many toxins can cause permanent damage to a child’s organs, forever altering their future with a lifetime of serious medical issues. Because of their smaller size and immature organs, children are much more sensitive to medications and toxins than adults.
Locking medicine storage is a smart and easy way to help keep vitamins, supplements, over-the-counter, and prescription medications away from young children. Locking pill bottle caps can help secure drugs that are carried in purses, bags, and briefcases.
Teen Drug Abuse and Overdose
“Not my teen.”
It can be easy to get complacent about prescription medications in the home when your teen is a good kid with good friends. However, it just takes one instance of poor decision making, one instance of peer pressure, or one stressful day to change your teen’s life forever.
- One in four American teens admit to misusing a prescription drug.
- Every day, more than 1,600 teens begin abusing prescription drugs.
- 68% of people over the age of 12 who have abused prescription drugs got them from a friend or relative.
The temptation to try a pain medication, sleeping pill, anti-anxiety medication, or stimulant not prescribed for them can sometimes be too much for a teen. That poor decision can lead to prescription drug addiction, or worse.
Consider this fact:
Help keep your teen from temptation by securing your prescription medications in locking storage containers, and keeping track of the amount of pills you have had used.