Friday, September 30, 2011

What a Pill

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she's ten feet tall
-"White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane
In contrast to the lyrics above, the pills that mother takes can be quite dangerous when eaten by a small child. A study in the Journal of Pediatrics looked at data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers, and found that child poisoning from prescription drugs was up 30% between 2001 and 2008. The likely source of the problem is that “there are more medications in households with small children”. Doctors are prescribing pills to everyone for everything and at increasing younger ages. Young parents are now taking opioid painkillers, sedative-hypnotics like muscle relaxants and sleep aids, and cardiovascular medicines. And while one, large pill a day is great for the adult, that large pill means a massive overdose when swallowed by a toddler.

Keep drugs out of reach. Preferable behind a locked cabinet.

Bottom Line

Many years ago as a teen-aged babysitter I was reading a book while the toddler slept (or so I thought). When the parents came home and checked the child, they found his mouth covered in white. It seems he had left his crib, found some aspirin, and decided to eat them. I had no clue this was happening. (I was not hired by that family again.)

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