Navigation Links
Many Young Children Overdosing From Medicines at Home

ATLANTA, Dec. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Each year, one of every 150 two-year-olds visits an emergency department in the United States for an unintentional medication overdose, most often after finding and eating or drinking medicines without adult supervision.  To inform parents and caregivers about safe medication storage and what to do in case of an emergency, CDC, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Education Foundation and a coalition of partners are launching an educational program, Up and Away and Out of Sight, encouraging parents to follow a few simple steps to protect children.

"Parents may not be aware of the danger posed by leaving medications where young children can reach them. In recent years, the number of accidental overdoses in young children has increased by 20 percent," said Dan Budnitz, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC's Medication Safety Program. "A few simple steps – done every time – can protect our children."

To protect children, parents and caregivers can:

  • Pick a place children cannot reach.  Find a storage place too high for a child to reach or see.  Any medicine or vitamin can cause harm if taken the wrong way, even medicine you buy without a prescription.
  • Put medicines and vitamins away every time you use them.  Never leave medicines or vitamins out on a kitchen counter or at a sick child's bedside, even if you have to give the medicine again in a few hours. 
  • Hear the click.  Make sure the safety cap is locked. If the medicine has a locking cap that turns, twist it until the click is heard.
  • Teach children about medicine safety. Never tell children that medicine is candy to get them to take it, even if the child does not like to take his or her medicine.
  • Tell guests about medicine safety. Ask houseguests and visitors to keep purses, bags, or coats that have medicines in them up and away and out of sight when they are visiting.
  • Be prepared in case of emergency. Program the poison control number into home and cell phones (1-800-222-1222).

Beginning in the 1970s, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission required that most medicines have child-resistant packaging, a significant safety improvement that has saved hundreds of children's lives.  However, child-resistant caps must be used properly. The Up and Away and Out of Sight educational program is part of the larger public-private partnership, the PROTECT Initiative, aimed at reducing unintentional medication overdoses in children.    

The PROTECT partners are also working on innovative safety packaging specifically designed to limit the amount of medication that could be ingested by a child even if a child-resistant cap has not been replaced properly. A number of leading nonprescription drug companies have committed to incorporating product enhancements for pediatric liquid acetaminophen medicines. In addition, several over-the-counter medications are available in individual doses, which can limit the amount of medication that children could get into.

"Even with improvements to packaging, no medication package can be 100 percent childproof," warns Richard Dart, M.D., president of the American Association of Poison Control Centers. "Poison centers receive calls every day about young children getting into medicines without adult supervision; that's why we encourage all parents and caregivers to follow these simple steps to ensure their child's safety."

CDC and the PROTECT partners will host a live Twitter chat with national medication safety experts on Wednesday, Dec. 14 from 1-2 p.m. Eastern time to answer questions about the Up and Away and Out of Sight program and keeping children safe from unintentional medication overdoses.  Follow CDC's updates on Twitter and join the chat by using the hashtag #MedsUpAway.

For more information on the Up and Away educational program, visit or in Spanish   

For more information about what CDC is doing to protect children from adverse drug events, visit

CDC works 24/7 saving lives, protecting people from health threats, and saving money through prevention. Whether these threats are global or domestic, chronic or acute, curable or preventable, natural disaster or deliberate attack, CDC is the nation's health protection agency.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

SOURCE Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Younger Adults Increasingly Treated for Heart Disease-related Conditions
2. New Risk Factor for Heart Disease Identified in Very Young Children, According to Study at American Heart Association Scientific Sessions
3. Childrens Hospital Cancer Study Finds Adolescents and Young Adults Dont Get Same Access to Cutting-Edge Treatment as Younger Patients
4. Mayo Clinic Study Identifies Potential Causes of Young-Onset Dementia
5. St. Jude Finds Young Age May Give Survival Advantage to Children With Certain Brain Tumors
6. Karmanos Doctors Urge Increased Screening for Previously Treated Lung Cancer Patients, Especially Young Women
7. AstraZeneca Submits an sNDA for SYMBICORT(R) for the Treatment of Asthma in Children as Young as Age Six
8. Young Women Diagnosed with Early-Stage Breast Cancer More Likely to Die than Older Women
9. Wyeth Submits European Marketing Authorization Application for its 13-Valent Vaccine for the Prevention of Pneumococcal Disease in Infants and Young Children
10. Thomson Reuters Study Finds Sharp Increase in Use of Sleep Medications by Young Adults
11. Mayo Clinic Study Finds Younger Men With Erectile Dysfunction at Double Risk of Heart Disease
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused on the ... announced that patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized ... has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor ... the third quarter of 2016, and to report ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- , , , WHEN: , ... , , , LOCATION: , , , Online, with free ... EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & Sullivan,s Global Vice President ... Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, Program Manager , ... is witnessing an exceptional era. Several new demand spaces, such as ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LONDON , June 23, 2016 ... environments  Oticon , industry leaders in ... the launch of Oticon Opn ™, the world,s ... world of possibilities for IoT devices.      ... Opn, Oticon introduces a number of ,world firsts,: ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:6/27/2016)... Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... are fully customizable inside of Final Cut Pro X," said Christina Austin - CEO ... another unique style. Final Cut Pro X users can now reveal the ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... industry today announced its strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry leader ... two companies’ proven, proprietary technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals and ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... , ... recently awarded their highest five-star rating to Best Buy Eyeglasses, ... the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be a purely functional ... a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of creating an iconic ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, a holistic treatment ... Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility is located. This ... of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. Its residents often ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole Health Supply is ... of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese herbs that have ... Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and Rehmannia Root Extract ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):