Protecting kids from medicine mistakes
7 Healthcast: Protecting kids from medicine mistakes
Where there's candy, there are kids, but sometimes even the family medicine cabinet can look like a candy store to young children.
It's hard to tell which of these tablets are Sweettarts and which are Tums antacids; and cold medicine Coricidin looks an awful lot like red M&M’s.
In a new study, more than one in four kindergarteners couldn't tell the difference between candy and over-the-counter medications.
Because of this common confusion, experts say it's crucial all medicines are locked up or put high enough that they're out of reach.
"Kids are curious,” Lindsey Asti with Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, said. “They really want to try and get into whatever they can get their hands on."
Asti conducted another new study looking at how medications are stored inside the home. When researchers looked through 24 households, nearly a third of homes had drugs containing the pain reliever acetaminophen within reach of kids under age six.
Asti says this should alert parents to check their homes for medicine that should be locked away or thrown away.
"Every home that we went into had at least one expired medication," Asti said.
Making sure medicines are up to date and up out of the way can help parents make sure their homes -- and kids -- are as safe as possible.
Teachers who were asked to distinguish between candy and pills didn't do much better than the kids -- mixing up the two 22 percent of the time.
(Copyright 2011 NBC News Channel. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)