The Alliance recognizes National Poison Prevention Week (March 20-26) as an opportunity to raise awareness about the danger that poisonings pose to people of all ages and to help prevent accidental poisonings.
According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), poisonings are the number one cause of injury-related death in the U.S. In 2014, 56 poison centers in the U.S. managed almost three million cases, of which 2.2 million were related to a person being exposed to a potentially dangerous substance. Also, the AAPCC reported that around 57 percent of all exposure cases involved pharmaceuticals.
Poisonings from OTC and prescription medications serve as a significant threat to the health and safety of both adults and children. Taken as directed, they are generally safe. However, they should never be used casually because—depending on the type of medication—they can cause serious injury and even death if not taken properly.
Also, when medications are not stored safely, they can be easily accessed by children. Every year, more than 60,000 children age 5 or younger are treated in an emergency room for accidental medication poisoning.
Because this is such a serious matter, we have developed a variety of resources to educate about medication safety. Read on to discover them all.
We’ll start off with an event that took place today: a Twitter chat on safe medication use, storage, and disposal. If you didn’t catch it, don’t worry, we have the entire chat archived right here.
Another fantastic resource is a film series about safe medication use, storage, and disposal. You can watch all of the films here.
Once you watch the films, take a moment to take our OTC medication quiz and find out how much you’ve learned.
And finally, check out this infographic below offering stats and tips to help you keep your medications up and away out of the sight of kids. You can download it here.