I have some awful recollections as a junior doctor of small children being brought into hospital suffering from overdoses of medications prescribed to their parents, grandparents or other adults in the family. Some of these children died. Indeed I remember when toddler twins both died from an overdose of aspirin within hours of each other.
Attempts were tried by pharmacists to dispense medicines in small bottles with lids that were difficult to open. The trouble was that some adults felt them difficult to open too and consequently, sometimes the “difficult” lid was discarded and the small bottles plugged with cotton wool.
Nowadays blister packs are more common but they might present as an interesting challenge to the older toddler although some perseverance would be required to remove large numbers of tablets. Nevertheless more adults receive medications than ever before and there is always a hazard in visiting friends and relatives even if your own home is safe enough.
I know someone who keeps all his tablets, bottles, inhalers and insulin injections piled up on the kitchen table. They take up about one third of the space there. He says he needs to have them in front of him so he won’t forget to take them. No doubt he is some child’s grandfather and the parents will need to be extra vigilant when they visit because he is so set in his ways he will never change. No doubt he drops tablets on their floor beneath him from time to time.
However, most parents would want to ensure that their own house is safe for their own and visiting children. A locked medicine cupboard out of the reach of young children is the answer. Indeed I think all new houses should be built nowadays with one of these wall mounted medicine cabinets and several other locked cupboards too especially the ones below the sink.
A study in Michigan demonstrated recently demonstrated some disconcerting findings on this matter:
COUNTRY : USA
“Unintentional poisonings from medicines cause more emergency room visits for young children each year than do car accidents. One key reason may be that nearly 1 of every 4 grandparents says that they store prescription medicines in easy-access ways, according to a new poll.”
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