Study: Accidental drug poisonings increase in kids

September 16, 2011 1:35:20 PM PDT
There has been an alarming jump in the number of children showing up in the emergency room after accidental poisoning from prescription drugs.

Painkillers and sedatives, including sleep aids and muscle relaxants, are behind much of that rise. Most of the poisonings usually occur when youngsters get into medications themselves -- not when parents give them too much by mistake.

Between 2001 and 2008, researchers tallied about 544,000 visits in children 5 years old and younger. That's a 30 percent increase. There were 66 deaths during that period.

The findings are published in the Journal of Pediatrics.

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