Parents On Prescriptions Have Higher Risk Of Accidentally Poisoning Children, Teens

August 05, 2013

A new study in the July issue of "Pediatrics" finds a correlation between higher rates of prescriptions for adults and the number of kids being poisoned accidentally. Children's Mercy Hospital toxicologist Dr. Jennifer Lowry said parents often tell her they only turned their heads for a minute or two, and before they knew it a toddler had swallowed their pills. And, she said teens sometimes abuse medications to get high.

“Adolescents are seeking to taking these medications,” Lowry said. “So, it almost doesn’t matter if you’ve locked it up, they’ll find a key.”

Lowry said increasing numbers of these incidents are fatal. In the last decade, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said the number of kids killed by accidental poisoning went up 80 percent. Here in Arizona, poisoning by drugs or medicine is the leading cause of accidental death.

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