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Grandkids Being Rushed to the Emergency Room Due to Prescription Drugs

Editor’s Note:  Today’s grandparents know the dangers of leaving prescription medications around so little grandkids or grandteens can get to them. https://www.grandmagazine.com/2011/09/dont-be-a-source-of-drugs-for-your-grandkids/

However, according to ABC News there is a new report that says 38% of the time kids are getting into their grandparents pills.  https://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/increase-kids-rushed-emergency-room-swallowing-prescription-meds-22889972#.UyGsv-2JIt8.email

By: ABC’s Amy Robach

There is a stark, new warning for American families. A spike in the number of children rushed to the emergency room because they’ve swallowed potent drugs. And a surprising number of cases show those pills belong to grandparents.

Poison control centers get calls like this 500,000 times a year.

Poison center, can I help you? Yes, my daughter just bit into a Rozerem.

Children under 5 are rushed to the emergency room 64,000 times a year from medications they got into at home. A new study finds they’re not just finding their parents’ pills. In 38% of these cases, the medications belong to a growing group of care givers, grandparents. We have more grandparents living with their families today.

There’s been a 23% increase since 2005. And we know that older adults take more medicine. Reporter: 74% of grandparents who regularly care for children, take a prescription pill every day.

All these medications can be dangerous, even in a single dose, and even life-threatening.

Childproof packaging is a myth. When my colleague, Paula Faris, asks six kids, ages 3 through 6, to see what they can do with the so-called child-resistant bottles. The youngest of the bunch needed only six seconds to pop open a pain prescription bottle.

The kindergartners proceed to open every, single bottle. In just a seven-minute period.

Because of memory problems or arthritis, grandparents may be unintentionally making it easy for kids to get into their meds. Many of the medications are put in plastic bags, the weekly pill organizers. Reporter: And if they’re left on the counter, they’re probably pretty tempting.

The pills can often look like candy. The mothers of the kids in our experiment, they were shocked and they are going to make some changes. We’re going to go home and have a new lesson, how not to open the bottles.

Parents and grandparents, keep those medications up high and away from small and curious hands. Doctors warn, there are two age groups most susceptible to accessing prescription bottles. Toddlers who open them by accident, and adolescents who are looking for an easy high or easy money.

This the a great wake-up call. Where are your meds?  Can your grandkids get to them?

lym-logo1 To learn more about how you can protect your grandkids from getting into your prescription meds: https://www.lockyourmeds.org/meducation/


Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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