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As Cold and Flu Season Peaks, The American Association of Poison Control Centers Teams up with Scholastic to Educate 6th Graders about Over-the-Counter Medicine Safety

NEW YORK, Jan. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), together with Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global children's publishing, education and media company, are launching OTC Literacy, a supplemental classroom program aimed at 6th graders created to provide free resources for teachers, school nurses and families to help raise awareness about over-the-counter medicine safety.

Research shows that children begin to self-medicate around 11 years old. As the cold and flu season reaches its peak, it is important for students to understand that while OTC medicines are safe when used properly, it is critical to consult a parent or guardian before taking any medication. 

Starting this month, nearly 70,000 teachers and school nurses nationwide will receive free resources and tools, including lesson plans, mini-posters, assessment quizzes, a family newsletter and information sheets on understanding Drug Facts Labels and "What Your Family Needs to Know about Medicine." Educators and parents can also download all of the materials on the new website,

"Educating children about medicine safety is essential and can potentially have a life-saving impact as they start to take more responsibility for their health and medications later in life," said Debbie Carr , Executive Director at AAPCC. "The AAPCC is pleased to be part of this initiative."

After participating in OTC Literacy, students will be able to identify the differences between prescription and OTC medications, understand information found on the Drug Facts Label, recognize unsafe situations involving OTC medicines, use problem-solving skills to brainstorm solutions, and understand that OTC medicine should only be taken under the supervision of a parent or trusted adult.

"Our goal is not just to facilitate learning inside the classroom, but also to further the home-to-school connection and engage school nurses and families in helping to reinforce these critical messages and lessons with their children," said Ann Amstutz-Hayes , Senior Vice President Scholastic Partnerships.

Support for development of the OTC Literacy educational material was provided by McNeil Consumer Healthcare.

SOURCE The American Association of Poison Control Centers
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