Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Reconsider 'Childproof' Packaging

US News and World Report writes an interesting article today on childproof packaging. Their outlook? Don't trust it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that each year over 4500 children get into medication and treat themselves to too much, requiring treatment for an overdose. While all of the children studied survived the accidental overdoes, one quarter needed activated charcoal to neutralize the toxic effects. The majority of the children were between ages 2 and 5.

Melissa Schaefer, a physician in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at the CDC and the study's lead author said chances of children going after the OTC meds increase when they are sweet and fruit-flavored.

Her advice for keeping pesky hands out of the medicine cabinet:

  • Keep medicines locked away from kids, even if the drugs have child-resistant packaging.
  • Never tell a child that medicine is candy.
  • Don't let children see you take medicine. They love to imitate grownups.
You may also consider ditching all your children's OTC cold medicines soon anyway, with the new FDA warning that was released this month.

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