Kids Poisoned by Medications

With prescription bottles harder to open than ever, how are children still dying from accidental poisoning?

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says each year more than 53,000 children under the age of four end up needing emergency treatment for unintentional medication exposure.

Melissa Buzek, a mother of two, says, "My daughter is at the age where she's really curious and gets into everything. It's really easy for her to access one of those. A lot of them have those screw-on tops. A child her age can die so easily."

In 2002, 35 children under the age of four died from accidentally ingesting medicines.

Clarence Herring, Assistant Director of Pharmacy at TMH, says, "Children sometimes take medication as a result of mimicking adults, thinking that they are taking candy."

Most medicine bottles do have child-proof caps on them. Health officials say it's when adults take the medicine out of these bottles that can spell trouble for kids.

Clarence adds, "We need to make sure that if we're going to use that procedure in terms of removing medications from the child-resistant container, that we monitor that process continuously. One of the ways we can do that is making sure that medication is kept out of the reach of children."

In the original container or not, Dr. Herring says medications should never be left out on counter tops or even in purses.