Prescription drug poison in children increase - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Prescription drug poison in children increase

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CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

They may be helpful to you, prescriptions for diabetes, pain, or blood pressure, but if the medicines get in the hands of curious youngsters they can be dangerous even deadly.

A new report published on Pediatrics online shows a connection between more adults using prescription drugs, and more children poisoned by them.

Shelly Wood with Early Prevention Impacts Communities, or EPIC, said it’s important for parents to talk to their kids about prescription drugs.

Wood said she isn’t surprised by the new study since prescription drugs can be the most accessible for intentional or accidental misuse.

In 2010, the coalition conducted a survey with kids in Cape Girardeau County between the ages of 12 and 20 years old. She said 7 percent of kids said they had used prescription drugs for non medical purposes, and almost 20 percent said the prescription drugs were easily available.

Experts suggest keeping the drugs in a locked box high up, out of reach of children.

Steve Horst with Horst Pharmacy said they stress to their customers to keep prescriptions out of the reach of a child because the containers are child resistant not child proof.

"Something supposedly harmless as Tylenol can be fatal to a child if they take too much of it," said Horst.

"Young people, and all people have great access to a large number of prescription and over the counter medications, people go to the doctor, maybe they get prescribed some pain meds for something, and only take one or two and then they keep the bottle in their medicine cabinet and so that makes them readily at hand for people that may want to try to abuse them,” said Wood.

Wood suggested dropping partially used prescriptions off at a permanent prescription drug drop box. You can find those at most local law enforcement stations.

"We suggest that parents monitor their medications and talk to their children about the dangers of prescription drug misuse," said Wood.

"You have to remember that this is a valuable medicine, but it large doses it's poison, the other thing you have to remember is this child resistant container is not always 100 percent effective, so therefore to be safe around your children or grandchildren you want to store your medication out of the reach of children,” said Horst.

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