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HHS HealthBeat (March 29, 2011)

Prescriptions and poisonings

Prescription drug bottle
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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Young kids swallow things – including other people’s medications. A study finds kids have the highest rate of emergency department visits for unintentional poisonings due to drugs, including prescription medications.

At Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Gary Smith:

``Because we found in this study that children 5 years and younger were the age group with the highest rate of unintentional poisoning, we need to do a better job at keeping poisons out of the hands of children.’’ (10 seconds)

These children were only a fraction of the almost 700,000 people receiving emergency treatment annually for drug-related poisoning.

The study in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: May 7, 2011