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Prescription Medication Poisoning NJ Children [AUDIO]

A growing number of New Jersey children are winding up in the emergency room, after swallowing prescription medication belonging to their parents or grandparents. “There are more of these products prescribed every day, and therefore there is more of a chance for a child to be exposed,” said Dr. Steven Marcus, executive and medical director of the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System.

He said unfortunately, there is no such thing as a completely childproof cap, so even in the best of circumstances there is always the possibility of a child being exposed.  Marcus said as more powerful drugs are being developed with a longer sustained release period, the potential for serious effects are increasing.

He stressed everyone should remember to put the child-resistant cap back on the container when it’s not used, and people should discard medication when they’re no longer using it.

“We require every house to have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, but we don’t require them to have lockable medicine cabinets, and that’s peculiar, because there are far more deaths every year from unintentional overdoses than there are deaths from fires.  If these medicines were kept locked up, it would help to safeguard the lives of younger children.”

Dr. Marcus also pointed out when it comes to these pills, even if you’ve got a situation where one might not be deadly, two or three might be.  “Every product in someone’s house should be looked at as a potential poison that could result in a death,” said Marcus.

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