MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – In the wake of National Poison Prevention Week, UW Health has released guidance on proper medication storage in order to prevent poisoning in children, something that the health system see daily.
According to UW Health Kids outpatient pharmacy coordinator Nick Zetes, UW Health saw 175 unintentional poison cases between 2020 and 2021. One hundred and forty-seven of those cases were kids younger than 5 years old.
“If a child gets their hands on adult medication, that could lead to a scary trip to the emergency room because little kids’ bodies process medications differently than adults,” Zetes said. “Symptoms could include nausea, vomiting and in severe cases, death.”
Another cause for concern, according to Zetes, is intentional poisoning. In 2020 and 2021, UW Health Kids saw nearly 200 intentional poisoning ingestions in kids as young as 11 years old in their emergency department.
The tips that Zetes gives are as follows:
- Keep pills out of reach and out of sight from children, since they could look like candy
- Child-resistant packaging isn’t child-proof, so medicine in packaging should also be put away
- Change the location of your medicine as your child grows
- Inform family, friends, and babysitters about your medicine policies
- Only give recommended dosage unless consulting with a doctor
- Dispose of medication properly
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