Study: many kids taking wrong medicine

March 20, 2013 4:12:22 PM PDT
Children take the wrong medicine or the wrong dose more than half-a-million times per year, according to an advocacy group.

A report by the non-profit group Safe Kids Worldwide says that most kids get medications from the floor or purses, not the medicine cabinet.

The study looked at more than 2,300 emergency room records for children under the age of 4. About 67,000 kids visited the emergency room because of accidental medication use in 2011, up 30% from a decade earlier.

Safe Kids Worldwide says that the number means a child is taken to the emergency room for accidental medication every 8 minutes.

In about 2/3 of the studied cases, the ingested medicine was within reach of a child. 27% of the pills were found on the floor, 20% from bags, and 20% from counters or tables and 15% were in pill organizers.

The study’s authors recommend that medications should be put up high and out of sight, regardless of convenience to adults. Other non-medicine items like rubbing alcohol and gummy vitamins should also be kept out of kids’ reach.

If you suspect that your child has taken medication improperly, experts recommend that you call the national Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222.