Accidental Poisoning

Poison Control Hotline
More than 70,000 children under the age of 18 visit the emergency room every year for unintentionally ingesting pharmaceutical drugs. Find out what you need to know in the event someone you love suffers an accidental drug poisoning.

Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears’ tips for preventing an accidental drug poisoning.

If you have questions or concerns, or if you're not sure about a possible danger, contact the Poison Control Hotline, staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 1-800-222-1222.

Over-the-Counter Medications
, ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin are common over-the-counter pain relievers, but do you know which to use for your ailments? While they all offer benefits, the medications also come with potential risks.

Naproxen and ibuprofen have been shown to help alleviate menstrual cramps. If you do have cramps, avoid taking aspirin because it can cause bleeding. Dr. Sears advises parents to never give aspirin or naproxen to children.

Prescription drug dangers.

Giving Kids Medicine
• Don't give medications in a beverage or food, unless the doctor or pharmacist says it's OK. Your child may not receive the proper dose if he or she does not finish all the food or beverage, and ingesting the medicine in this form may alter its effect.
Never use a standard kitchen spoon to measure medicine, because it may be inaccurate. Use a syringe or an official medicine cup with measurements on it.
Before you leave the pharmacy, ask the pharmacist to show you what the exact dose should be.
If your children do not like the taste of a medicine, as the pharmacist about other flavor options or inquire about chewable tablets.
Write down the doctor's instructions so the pharmacist is aware.
Read the directions on the medications, and ask the pharmacist if you have any questions.

Medicine Storage
Store medicine in a cool, dry area.
Don't store medicine in the bathroom, because the humidity can decrease the effectiveness of the medication.
Keep medicines in a high place, out of reach of children. Make sure grandparents and other relatives do the same, so visiting children can't get to them.