This particular study in the Journal Pediatrics tracked the number of hospitalizations for accidental poisonings over a seven year period.
But as doctors, we didn’t need a formal study. Though the problem has always been there- we’re seeing firsthand that its worse. Much worse.
That’s because adults are gobbling medications at a record rate- which translates into more pills out there- and more opportunities for mischief—and danger
And what we are seeing is scaring the heck out of us. It’s the types of medication. A little kid takes one single pain pill- its life threatening. One pill for diabetes- blood sugar drops- kids collapses. Same for high blood pressure medication.
And if you’re wondering why more medications are being taken, check out waist sizes. We are thicker in the middle, and with that thickness comes more diabetes, high blood pressure, and more pain.
Heres some advice-
Don’t leave your medicines in a convenient place. Make it hard for you to get to them. Up-away-locked. A countertop– is evil
Remember there is no such thing as child proof- maybe child resistant. As in, if you cant get your bottle open- ask a kid. You know how it works.
And remind visitors-don’t leave meds in purses, bathrooms, night stands and so forth.
Finally, talk to your kid in terms they can understand. Let them know your pills can make them sick and a trip to the hospital. (And please, never refer to your medicine as candy.)