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60,000 kids poisoned by medicine: Don't make this common mistake

March 17, 2017 / TODAY

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Kids are more clever than we think when it comes to finding their ways into medicine cabinets and  twisting the child safety lids off of bottles. According to a new report from Safe Kids Worldwide, every year nearly 60,000 children are rushed to hospitals after getting into medicine cabinets.

by Erika Edwards

“Nine out of 10 parents know that medicine should be stored up and away and out of reach and sight, every time,” said Morag Mackay, director of research for Safe Kids Worldwide. “But we found that 7 out of 10 of them admitted to not doing that.” 

The report finds a disconnect between what parents know about storing medication safely — and what they actually do.

Although parents might think that kitchen counters and bathroom sinks are high enough to be safe storage places it turns out that it some kids can find ways to access the medicine if they are tall enough to reach or strong enough to climb.  

Don’t be fooled by 'child-resistant packaging'

It only delays the time it takes a child to break into a bottle of pills.

“We've had children get into medicines because they were given the bottle half-full of tablets to use as a rattle,” said Rose.

The new Safe Kids Worldwide report includes a survey of 2,000 parents with children under age 6. While the number of children visiting an emergency department for accidental poisonings has declined since the 2010 peak, the decline has slowed in recent years.

Prescription and over-the-counter medications cause the most severe poisonings, but vitamins and supplements can also cause problems.

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