An estimated 60,000 children (18 years old or younger) are seen in emergency departments each year because of unintentional medication poisonings (excluding recreational drug use). Most of these visits (over 80%) were because an unsupervised child found and consumed the medication without adult supervision. Children less than 5 years old are twice as likely as older children to be taken to the emergency department for an adverse drug event, and one out of every 180 two-year-olds visits an emergency department for a medication poisoning annually.
Pre-school age children can be seriously harmed if they get into medicines when no adult is watching. Finding and eating or drinking medicines on their own, without adult supervision is the #1 cause of emergency visits for adverse drug events among children less than 5 years old. An estimated 52,000 children less than 5 years old are brought to emergency departments each year because of unsupervised ingestions.
Never leave children alone with medicines. If you are giving or taking medicine and you have to do something else, such as answer the phone, take the medicine with you.
Do not leave medicines out after using them. Store them in medicine cabinets or other childproof cabinets that young children cannot reach.
When purchasing medicines for young children, check to make sure they are in child-resistant packaging that you are comfortable using.
Put the poison control number, 1-800-222-1222, on or near every home telephone and save it on your cell phone.
Florida Poison Information Center – Miami
University of Miami, Dept of Pediatrics, P.O. Box 016960 (R-131)
Miami, FL 33101
Operation Medicine Cabinet – Drug Free Collier
The Drug Free Collier organization is offering the public a free opportunity to safely dispose of leftover prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
Operation Medicine Cabinet is a pioneer for the state and nation. Officials say all drugs and medicines are accepted to keep them out of water supplies, landfills, trash cans and the hands of our curious youngsters. Operation Medicine Cabinet is simple, direct, convenient and free.
Thanks to Drug Free Collier for making our community a safer place. For a full list of drop-off locations in Collier County visit Operation Medicine Cabinet.