New effort launched to reduce harmful ingestion of medications and other substances by Kentucky children.
Pediatric medical and child advocacy groups are joining together to urge more attention regarding children ingesting potentially harmful substances. The new campaign is called, “Medication Safety in the Home: Protect Your Children and Prevent Accidental Ingestions.” Christina Howard is chief of the Division of Pediatric Forensic Medicine at Kentucky Children’s Hospital.
“As a member of the fatality and near fatality external review panel, my colleagues and I have seen the trend of increasing pediatric ingestions. And this includes vitamins, over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, and other substances,” said Howard.
That same review panel in 2020 found that almost one in six of all fatalities and near fatalities were related to the ingestion of substances.
Dr. Scottie Day is chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Kentucky Children’s Hospital. He said part of the problem lies in momentary distractions and a key part of the remedy is childproof storage.
“How do we do that so it’s just like buckling a kid in a car seat, right? That was a long time ago. This will be the same type in my mind, ten years from now, we’ll look and say everybody’s got a medication safe box. It’s just routine,” said Day.
Suggestions for keeping these items out of kids’ mouths include storing up and away in a locked container, child-resistant packaging often doesn’t mean childproof, and asking visiting family and guests to secure medications safely.