These important over the counter medicine safety tips are brought to you today by McNeil Consumer Healthcare. They have partnered with Scholastic and the American Association of Poison Control Centers to create a wide variety of educational resources and activities that encourage teachers, families, school nurses, and community organization leaders to engage tweens in a critical conversation about over the counter (OTC) medicine safety. This program sets out to teach safe and responsible medicine use to children before self administration of medication begins. This critical information should open a discussion with your children. This is especially important if you are a parent of kids in grades 5-6 when self administration of the over the counter medicines often begins.
Why Are These Over The Counter Medicine Safety Tips So Important?
The statistics show that children are performing self administration of medication and this can lead to serious harm.
- Approximately 10,000 ER visits per year for medicine overdose in individuals younger than 18 are caused by adolescents self-administering OTC medicines.
- In 2012, poison centers managed over 296,000 exposure cases in children ages 6 to 19; over half of these cases involved medication errors and misuse.
- In 2012, poison centers reported over 70,000 cases involving medication dosing errors in children 12 and younger.
Also a danger is children getting into medicine without the parent’s knowledge. On average, more than 60,000 young children end up in emergency rooms every year because they get into medicines while their parent or caregiver is not looking! Clearly, there is need for more medicine safety education and yes, even with over the counter medicine. You may want to check out these new locking pill bottles that offer a simple solution.
Over The Counter Medicine Safety Tips For Families
From a young age taking safety precautions need to be taken. This begins with simple things such as keeping medicine out of reach and discussing with children that things kept in cabinets can be dangerous them to play with or consume. Before self administration of medication by children can begin, parents must make sure that kids are old enough and that they have discussed the dangers of over medication.
The OTC Medicine Safety offers families many resources for ensuring medicine safety. To access the free information and tools, just visit Scholastic.com/otcmedsafety/
The site is multi-tiered. There is a teachers section, a section for health professionals, a families section, and a community leaders section. The site also includes a free e-Book, which helps foster an understanding of medicine safety through a fun, illustrated storybook. It is great to use with your kids to open the medicine safety discussion.
Medicine Safety Checklist
OTC Medicine Safety’s hub for families includes a downloadable newsletter and overview of the medicine safety program; a set of informational resource sheets now available in five languages; a medicine safety checklist and action plan; and an online interactive activity that encourages responsible medicine storage and safe household practices relating to medicine use.
We are all busy. There are always so many details to think of. Don’t let medicine safety go unaddressed in your household! I hope you find these over the counter medicine safety tips helpful to your family. Think twice and use the medicine safety checklist and action plan. Did you find some of these facts and tips surprising?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of McNeil. The opinions and text are all mine.