A 1-year-old baby girl went into convulsions after swallowing 15-20 sleeping pills and is currently on life-support at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City.
On April 15, the girl’s 36-year-old mother was reading a book when she noticed her daughter eating the pills, reported the New York Post. Shortly after, the baby went into convulsions and 911 was called.
When the police arrived, they rushed the girl to the hospital in their police car. “They wanted to get the child to the hospital as soon as they could,” a source told the Post.
The parents, who are Brazilian residents, were staying at the Times Square Night Hotel.
Police are still investigating the incident and as of April 17, said the girl is still in serious condition.
1-3 Year-Olds Most Prone to Injury by Medicine
A report released in March 2019 by Safe Kids Worldwide (SKW), a non-profit focused on helping families and communities keep kids safe from injuries, said nearly 52,000 children under the age of six were treated in emergency rooms for medicine poisoning in 2017 across the United States. That is about one child every 10 minutes.
The report, “Medicine Safety: A Key Part of Child-Proofing Your Home,” found that 84 percent of children admitted were between one and three years old. Children grow and develop rapidly in the first few years of life; research suggests that between 15 and 30 months, they are especially at risk, since their mobility increases so much during that period.
Long-Term Vs Short-Term Storage
The report also highlighted that although parents tend to put medicine in hard-to-reach places for long-term storage, they also keep them in easy-to-access places such as backpacks, purses, diaper bags, and cars.
“I think about my wife’s purse,” a father said in a focus group discussion.
“A lot of times it’s on the floor and it probably has some Tylenol® in there. I wouldn’t have thought of that.”
The report notes that differences in behavior arise because parents do not think of purses, cars, diaper bags, and backpacks as places of storage. The authors suggest that parents should take into account all places a child can get into, even locations that are unconventional.
‘Different Medicine, Different Rules’
Parents also tend to treat prescription medicine differently from over-the-counter medicine, and don’t treat vitamins and supplements as medicine at all. Yet all of them have the potential to cause harm “if taken in large enough amounts or taken by the wrong person,” the report pointed out. “For some medicines, one pill is enough to kill.”
“Parents are often surprised to hear that things like vitamins, eye drops, nasal sprays, and diaper cream are poisonous and pose a risk to children,” says the report.
“It’s easy to look at your beautiful, newborn baby and think that he’s not going anywhere anytime soon; believing you still have plenty of time to child-proof your home,” Torine Creppy, president of SKW, said in a press release.
“But we’ve learned from our research that parents are all too often surprised by how quickly their babies grow and change,” he said. He advises parents to develop life-saving habits like safe medicine storage well before their babies are mobile.
3 Tips to Make Your Home Medicine-Safe for Kids
1. Keep medicine out of sight and out of reach of children, even medicine you take daily or more often that you may have sitting on your counter or nightstand. Bags and briefcases should also be put on high shelves or hung on hooks.
2. Be sure to include medicine safety on your child-proofing checklist. Re-check the list as your child grows up, as he/she can surprise you at any age.
3. Save the Poison Help number in your phone and keep it visible around your home: 1-800-222-1222