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It’s Not The Medicine Chest’s Fault

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Dr. Dave Hnida (credit: CBS)

Dr. Dave Hnida (credit: CBS)

Recent Blog Entries From Dr. Dave Hnida


So tell me, you’ve got a young kid at home, and you walk into the room — and there your child is: sitting around playing with a  bottle of spilled pills — with some possibly having made their way into the toddler’s mouth.  It would freak you out, wouldn’t it?

I know the idea scares the dickens out of me.

And if you’re like me, you think the most common situation would be a kid somehow making their way into a medicine chest or cabinet and fishing for trouble. And like me, you’d be wrong.

The biggest accidental drug suppliers to children are us.

A new study shows the rate of accidental at-home med poisonings is up 30 percent over the past 10 years, with more than 67,000 kids under the age of four requiring a trip to the ER last year alone.

So here’s where the kids are digging and delving into trouble:

27% – pills left out by adults ON THE FLOOR (C’mon now)

20%- from a purse (you know how kids love to explore)

20% – countertops or tables (they can reach better than you think)

15% – a bag of pills or pillbox left on a bed, sink, or similar (gee, don’t do that)

6%- nightstand drawer (“I wonder what’s in there?”)

12%- somewhere else in the house.

The study also points a finger at visitors — particularly grandmothers — who may be leaving pills in vulnerable places. So a gentle reminder to those who bring meds along on visits, even day visits, is good idea.

The other thing to remember is this — a phone number:

1-800-222-1222

This is the number of the Poison Help Line. Place it near or put it in your phone.

I know you’ll follow the above rules of safety, but just in case there is a hitch somewhere along the line, let’s make sure you’re not scrambling in a panic for information.

1-800-222-1222

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