Boom in Prescription Drugs Makes Its Way to Young Children; Accidental Poisonings Way Up

By Douglas Main | September 16, 2011 12:49 pm

Between 2001 and 2008, the number of children 5 years old or younger admitted to the emergency room due to poisoning from pharmaceuticals increased 36 percent, according to a new study [PDF]. This pales in comparison to the 8 percent increase in population of the age group. Ingestion of drugs during this period caused 43 percent more kids to be injured, defined as a reaction requiring a medical treatment, to a permanent disability, or death. In all, 90 kids died from unintentional overdose or misuse of medications.

Researchers say that pharmaceutical poisoning of children, especially from prescription medications, is a growing problem that continues to get worse every year. But why? The most likely reason, they suggest, is the overall increase in use of prescription drugs by adolescents and adults, which children can come across and ingest without knowing the consequences. For example, the number of kids injured by opioid pain medications almost doubled during the study, a period when prescriptions for the strong painkillers oxycodone (present in OxyContin and Percocet) and hydrocodone (Vicodin) increased 182 and 159 percent, respectively.

[Via EurekAlert]


CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine
  • bigjohn756

    Any parent who would hand medications over to their children is stupid. All meds in households with children should be well secured and handed out by the parent as required. If children die as a result of parents neglecting common sense then the parent should go to prison for a long time.

  • Mike

    Well now the pychiatric drug dealers are actually approving use of pychotropic and antideppresent druggs in children without ANY clue on how it affects development or if they actually need it. This is not going to be surprising that .useless prescription drugs from big pharma are damaging our well being.

  • Idlewilde

    If the kids need to take daily medicine, perhaps at school, then what stupid parent is giving the kid the whole damn bottle instead of just the daily dose wrapped in foil or in a pill case???
    Lots of young children would think without an adult to teach them otherwise, ‘If I take more pills, I’ll feel even better.’ These deaths are truly tragic in that they are so avoidable.

    Also, some of this probably stems from overdiagnosis. How many children, who in the past would have been normally disciplined, today are diagnosed with ‘Oppositional Defiant Disorder’ and plied with therapy and pills? How many moody kids, who would have eventually grown out of their behavior, are now diagnosed with depression or Bipolar disorder, and medicated?

  • scott

    I used to teach at a private girls school – there were endless counselor and parent meetings regarding their “special needs girls” (this was an expensive private school in LA) and the meds they needed. My opinion as a biolgist was that these were normal teen girls put on all kinds of meds and given long disorder names to cover up what I consider normal teen girl behavior.

    After meeting crazy, wealthy parents, I soon realized the parents were often the ones with the disorders.

    Many of my students were on ADHD meds. I am still involved in teaching and the list of disorders grows. A kid fails a test or has a bad week and they get diagnosed with something requiring special attention from the school or teacher – who because of the student failing, is blamed for not stimulating the student to learn and study properly.

    I would not be suprised if someday, meds are just added to school drinking water or Monsanto approved lunches with mood supresors grown into the food.

    The bright side (kidding)….a room of kids who sit their like zombies, instead of being all excited chatty and squirmy because its Friday…..

    Another sad thing….teachers are discouraged or not allowed to touch or hug their students. If I even accidentaly brushed up against a girl I had to fill out a report (when, where and why) and send it to the couselor. We are becoming an isloated, ignorant, drugged out society conditioned to stroll malls and consume.

  • Rene

    Like me, my kids have been enrolled in (not so private) public schools, where casual (and normal) contact has been suppressed by over anxious school board officials due to, I’m sure, some rarely occasional misfortunes.

    Old school teachers and staffers (like our lovable retired janitor) wouldnt dodge or brush off a ‘free’ hug from a child. That’s the most sincere form of affection you can get from a young person, teen or tot.

  • Judi

    I believe that many of the injuries suffered by the children are from properly consumed and administered prescription drugs, not from kids taking more than prescribed. This happens with adults too. Big Pharma is experimenting on all of us with every prescription, particularly with the newly approved drugs. Death rates drop anywhere doctors go on strike and don’t prescribe medications.
    We as a society are over medicated and we have been conditioned to believe some pill will cure us when the opposite is often true.


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