Moms, beware: Medication that can kill children with a single pill

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Always remember to keep medications in original containers with child-resistant closures.

A 4-year-old boy recently died after eating medication that his grandmother takes to treat high blood pressure. Family members rushed Li Xin Jie to the hospital after they found him vomiting, and confirmed that he had indeed taken his grandmother’s pills. However, their efforts were futile as the boy died the very next day, reports The Star.

While this happened in Malaysia, and not in the Philippines, it doesn’t mean that we should be complacent. Things like this can happen anywhere in the world. Therefore, we need to take extra precaution to ensure our children are kept away from harmful things, such as prescription drugs for adults.

Medications that are Especially Dangerous to Children

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Here are some of the common medicines that can lead to emergencies when accidentally ingested by kids:

  • Heart Pills — In children, they can cause dangerously low blood pressure and heart rate, and even lead to shock.
  • Muscle Rubs — Camphor is especially dangerous because ingesting it works so quickly; symptoms occur within 10-20 minutes, and often children can go into seizures without any warning.
  • Prescription Pain Medication — For an infant, even half a tablet of hydrocodone can be lethal.
  • Aspirin and Oil of Wintergreen — Oil of wintergreen is particularly hazardous because its pleasant smell tempts toddlers to ingest it, but one teaspoon of oil of wintergreen is the equivalent of nearly 90 baby aspirins — a life-threatening dose for a toddler or child.
  • Antidepressants — After pain medications, antidepressants are the second highest cause of accidental death from poisoning in children younger than 6.
  • Blood Pressure Patches, Eye Drops, and Nasal Sprays — These medications, designed to be absorbed over time through your skin, can lead to serious consequences when ingested by a toddler. As little as 6 ml can lead to a coma.
  • Diabetes Drugs — As these medications are more commonly prescribed, the incidence of paediatric poisonings has also increased, with over 2,500 occurrences in the United States in 2001.

The Importance of Safe-Proofing

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Kids are naturally curious. They spend a lot of time exploring their environment, learning and absorbing with all their senses. This is why it is crucial to make sure your home is safe.

But aside from your home, oftentimes kids are dropped off during the day with caretakers like the grandparents or nannies, while parents work. Are these homes really child-proof?

In the case of Li Xin Jie’s grandmother, I’m not saying the action of leaving medication lying around was deliberate. Sometimes we just forget, have too much on our mind, or take for granted that kids would not be so inquisitive. Furthermore, we seem to prefer keeping our medication in pill minders such as the one above. These containers are very easy to open and a child or a toddler could easily access its contents, if left lying around.

Store All Medication Properly

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Prevention is always better than cure, so be sure to keep all your medication out of reach of young children.

  • Store all medicine out of sight and reach of young children.
  • Keep them in bottles with child-resistant caps, and put it back every time after you use it. Do not leave it standing on a counter where your child can access it.
  • Try not to take your medicine in front of your children, to reduce the risk of him wanting to imitate your actions.
  • Never refer to medicine or tablets as candy.
  • Remind your guests to keep any containers with medicine in them out of reach when they visit you.
  • Throw out all expired medication and to check expiry dates before giving them to your children.

Be sure to take these extra measures to keep your kids safe.

This article was originally published on theAsianparent Singapore

READ: Accidental poisoning in children: Crucial information for parents

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