And in those three stories lies a conundrum; how to protect the environment vs. having unwanted medications in the house that increase the risk of intentional and accidental ingestion. To reduce the risk of accidental poisoning by medications, it was at one time advocated to flush unwanted medication down the toilet. This solution was simple and easy. However, at the turn of the century, data began to appear which showed that trace amounts of pharmaceutical drugs were being found in rivers and drinking water around the country. Soon afterwards, multiple studies showing that biological changes were occurring in wildlife located downstream from pharmaceutical plants or urban waste treatment plants were published.
One of my favorite hobbies is ‘getting out of Dodge’. I love to leave town, get off the island, flee the continent. I don’t care where you send me, I will go. Traveling can be stressful though, and if that weren’t enough, have you ever considered the potential poisonings related to travel?
Is your medicine cabinet starting to look like a pharmacy? Do you really need that bottle of ibuprofen that expired in the 1990s? It’s probably time you cleaned out your medicine cabinet. Stockpiling old or unused medications can lead to medication errors, unintentional ingestion by kids or pets and for some prescription drugs—abuse.
So what is the best way to clean out your medicine cabinet? Read more »
The following post was contributed by the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
‘Tis the season for holiday parties and cocktails. But did you know that alcohol and medicines often don’t mix?
The combination of alcohol and medicines, whether prescription or over-the-counter, can lead to life-threatening consequences depending on the medicine, the amount of alcohol consumed, and differences such as body size or age. Read more »
As part of my reconnaissance for writing this post, I polled my Facebook friends and asked, “What do you think is the most toxic thing about the Holidays”? One of my favorite replies was, “relatives”. Well, unfortunately that is more “Dear Prudence’s” purview than my own, but below you will find some information on what is the most common or dangerous substances the IPC hears about around the holidays. Read more »
For the second time this year, the DEA will coordinate a collaborative effort with state and local law enforcement agencies to remove potentially dangerous controlled substances from our nation’s medicine cabinets. Collection activities will take place October 29, 2011, from 10:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. at sites established throughout the country. The National Take-Back Day provides an opportunity for the public to surrender expired, unwanted, or unused pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications for destruction. These drugs are a potential source of supply for illegal use and an unacceptable risk to public health and safety. Read more »
The blog series “My Child Ate…” continues this week with us taking a look at the top ten things children are getting into around the house. Each year, poison centers receive over one million calls involving children ages five and under. Have you ever wondered what in the world kids are getting into? Well check out our top 10 list below:
- Cosmetics/Personal Care Products: “It’s pretty and pink. It’s easy to open, and looks like a fruit drink.” Read more »
Acetaminophen is one of the most common over-the-counter (OTC) medications, appearing in over 600 OTC products. It is an effective pain reliever and fever reducer when used as directed, though it can cause severe liver damage if overused. In fact, acetaminophen overdose is the most common cause of acute liver failure requiring a liver transplant in the United States. Read more »
If you are in tune to healthcare and medical news stories, you probably already know that overdosing or chronically using too much of the popular non-aspirin product called acetaminophen may cause serious and possibly even fatal liver damage. Read more »
June is National Safety Month. Did you know that potentially hazardous substances can be found in nearly every home? Follow these tips to keep you and your family safe from potentially toxic exposures!
1. Store all medications, chemicals and household products out of reach and out of sight of children—ideally locked up. Read more »
Hopefully you’re not home reading our blog with thermometer in mouth, feet soaking in hot water, lemon tea brewing on the stove, fighting off the nasty bug that you or your kids picked up at work or school – but it is indeed winter, the time of year when so many of us suffer the miserable effects of the common cold or flu. Naturally, the use of a variety of non-prescription pain-relievers, fever-reducers, and cough/cold remedies goes up dramatically during the cold season, so it shouldn’t surprise you that the number of accidental poisonings and adverse drug reactions to these products does as well, especially among children. In 2009, the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) reported a whopping total of 88,355 cases in the US involving cough and cold medications (CCMs); 46% involving children younger than 5 years old. Read more »
A Grandparent’s Guide to Poison Prevention
By Tony “Grandman” Burda and Grazina Janeliauskaite
Two recent developments have spurred us to address the importance of diligent poison prevention by grandparents of small children. On September 9 2010, the PEW Research Center released a report entitled “Since the Start of the Great Recession, More Children Raised by Grandparents.” This report revealed a surprising statistic that one out of ten children in the United States lives with a grandparent. According to the U.S. Census Bureau data, 41% of those children who live with a grandparent are also being raised primarily by that grandparent. Most notably, there was a sharp jump of 6% between the years 2007-2008 which corresponded to the first year of the Great Recession. Therefore, we feel the need to reach this burgeoning caregiver population with the message of being proactive about poison prevention and safety, is timely, relevant and compelling. Read more »
On September 25, 2010, the DEA will coordinate a collaborative effort with state and local law enforcement agencies to remove potentially dangerous controlled substances from our nation’s medicine cabinets. Read more »
Well it’s about that time of August where parents are rejoicing and kids are groaning: the beginning of a new school year. For most families, their summer and school year schedules are drastically different, and the transition can take some getting used to. Below are some common poisoning hazards that can happen to you or your family during this time of year and tips on how to avoid them.