At Home Safety

Preventing Poisoning: One Pill May Be Deadly

Kids are curious, and they enjoy putting things into their mouths! Investigating the way objects feel and taste like is an important part of how they are taught about the world that surrounds them. The endless curiosity of children is the source of all the amazing (and often silly) questions and creative thinking however, it could be a source of trouble.

Sometimes, as an emergency physician I’m convinced that I’ve seen everything. From a small marshmallow that has gotten stuck in the baby’s airway to a child who has lead poisoning after consuming an unassuming toys in order to shield it from his brother. Sometimes, these emergency situations strike near to home.

The Gillans story may be difficult to read, but illustrates how crucial it is to do everything we can to ensure our children are secure.

One Pill Can Kill

Our gorgeous, joyful daughter Maisie was killed by an overdose of methadone when she was nine months, 15 days and one day old. Nobody in our house is being prescribed methadone. In the neighbor’s home in which she discovered the drug that killed her there is no one (to the best of our knowledge) is given methadone.

But, during the holiday season an elderly relative prescribed methadone came to visit the house of a neighbor. The next day, at a party, Maisie displayed her new abilities to crawl to the delight of her guests. We didn’t know that the person who was able to crawl took a pill from the kitchen, but was unable to find it. The pill was found in Maisie’s hands and her hand landed in her mouth. Six adults, including three doctors, were present at the event and Maisie was supervising the entire duration. The party ended around her evening time. She looked tired and we said we were so happy for her and then put her to the bed.

The next day, she was dead. We discovered her unconscious the next day, so we did CPR and contacted first emergency personnel immediately. We had hoped for an amazing outcome. We had hoped we would see our child saved, and we would be able to hold her. We put her to rest after six days. The plots are still open the opposite side of her headstone to commemorate her parents. It was never intended to be this way.

for 10 consecutive days it was believed that Maisie was dying from SIDS but we found out she died of an overdose of an adult dose of methadone. Medicine has the potential to save lives, however we do not approach it with the respect and safety we ought to. Medicine should be properly cared for, it should be kept safe and must be given in single doses, often referred to by the name of blister packaging.

Discuss secure storage and safe handling with anyone you know who has a medical condition. These can be difficult conversations However, one pill can be fatal, and we do not want that to happen to you or to your loved ones.

Maisie’s story is so common is it?

We know that around 50.000 U.S. children visit the Emergency Department every year because they ingested something that could be dangerous. The good newsis that the majority of these children leave without sustaining any serious injury. The scary part is that around 9000 children have to be admitted to hospitals, and some such as Maisie are killed by the poisoning.

Medicines are powerful lifesavers, but can also be dangerous–especially to babies, children and teens.

Consider “up and away

The best way to safeguard children from accidental poisoning is to remove medicines in a safe manner. Follow these guidelines to prevent kids from stumbling across medicines in your home:

  • Place all medicines in a cupboard or on a shelf, but away from children’s reach. In the majority of prescription medication poisonings children climbed on the floor, a toy or another object to access the medicine.
  • Store medicines in original containers, and use caps for child safety.
  • If you have restricted substances (like prescription pain medication and ADHD medication) think about putting them in an enclosed box to ensure security.
  • Make a note of the number of pills in the bottle , and then write the date of the beginning at the bottom of the label. If an accident occurs you’ll be aware of which are missing.
  • When you give your child medicine or other medication, you should lean on the counter or table. This can help prevent accidental spills.
  • All medications can be risky therefore, treat all medications with the same caution. We are concerned about opioids, but certain diabetes and blood pressure medications could be fatal for the child who ingests just one pill.
  • If a drug spills, clean or sweep the area as an additional measure to make sure nothing gets left unnoticed.
  • Dispose of unused medications–especially opioids–at pharmacies, drug “take back” programs or doctors’ offices
  • Learn the basics of basic first-aid and have an emergency Poison Center Number (1-800-222-1222) on your cell phone.
  • Begin to practice safe storage of your medication from the moment your baby is born.