Thank you to Sheriff Kevin Joyce from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office for presenting with Beth Blakeman-Pohl of Casco Bay CAN to 42 senior citizens last week. They presented at the First Parish Church in Pownal to inform seniors with prescription drug safety tips.
Gray and New Gloucester Senior Citizens please join us and Sheriff Joyce from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office to learn more about prescription drug safety! This event will be on Wednesday, April 4th at 10am at the Town of Gray‘s town hall.
Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, MBE at Seattle Children’s Hospital writes about what parents need to know about poison prevention:
1) Parents must teach their children what medicine is and that only you or a caregiver should give it to them. Although this is a safeguard, especially for older children, we have to remember that young children will always be led by their curiosity.
2) Never tell them that medicines (including vitamins) are candy, even if they don’t like to take it. Medicine is medicine — we can advertise it’s benefit but really can’t confuse or inflate it to that of candy. Our children inherently want to mimic our behaviors (at least while they are young! so we have to stay away from advertising meds as candy.
3) Set aside time this week to double-check that your medicines are stored safely up, away and out of sight of kids. When you check in on the medicines in your home, check in to make sure the dosing device is attached (even with a rubber band) to the medicine.
4) This isn’t just an important issue for when you are home but it matters when you are traveling, with medicines in your suitcase or purse, it matters when you stay with friends or families, especially Grandparents.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration suggests when using nonprescription medicines, here are 10 ways to be sure you’re giving your children the right medicine and the right amount.
Read and follow the label directions every time. Pay special attention to usage directions and warnings. If you notice any new symptoms or unexpected side effects in your child or the medicine doesn’t appear to be working, talk to your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Know how much medicine to give and when. Read and follow the label.
Know the abbreviations for tablespoon (tbsp.) and teaspoon (tsp.). You should also know: milligram (mg.), milliliter (mL.), and ounce (oz.).
Use the correct dosing device. If the label says two teaspoons and you’re using a dosing cup with ounces only, don’t guess – get the proper measuring device. Don’t substitute another item, such as a kitchen spoon.
Never play doctor. Twice the recommended dose is not appropriate just because your child seems twice as sick as last time. When in doubt about your child’s condition, call your doctor.
Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional before giving two medicines at the same time to avoid a possible overdose or an unwanted interaction.
Follow age and weight limit recommendations. If the label says don’t give to children under a certain age or weight, don’t do it. Call your doctor.
Always use the child-resistant cap and re-lock the cap after each use. Be especially careful with iron-containing vitamins or supplements, which have been a source of accidental poisoning deaths in children under three.
Follow the “KEEP OUT OF REACH” warning. Today’s medicines are often flavored to mask the taste of the medicine, which is all the more reason to keep all drugs out of the sight and reach of children.
Always check the package and the medicine itself for signs of tampering. Don’t buy or use any medicine from a package that shows cuts, tears, slices, or other imperfections. Report anything suspicious to the pharmacist or store manager.
This website was developed under grant #1H79SP016497 from the Office of National Drug Control Policy and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of ONDCP, SAMHSA, or HHS.