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Grandparent's medicines not secure around grandchildren, finds study

ANI | Updated: Jul 01, 2019 23:05 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], July 1 (ANI): A recent study suggests that keeping older adult's medications in easy-to-reach places and easy-to-open containers can increase the risk of accidental poisoning or intentional misuse in their grandchildren.
More than 80 per cent of the grandparents said they keep their medication in the same place as usual when their grandchildren visited their house and 72 per cent keep them in their purse or bag when they go to visit their grandchildren, reported a recent finding from the National Poll on Healthy Aging.
And nearly one-third say they store their prescription medications in something other than the container they came in with the vast majority of them using an easy-to-open container.
These practices may put children at risk of accidental poisoning if they get into their grandparent's medications, said researchers involved in the poll.
And for older grandchildren, the easy access may lead to misuse of certain medicines">medicines">medicines">medicines that hold the potential for abuse for instance pain medicines">medicines">medicines">medicines and sedatives.
The findings suggested that grandparents need more education about safe medication storage when they're around children and teens, whether for a holiday visit or a regular childcare session.
The poll, asked more than 2,000 adults aged 50 to 80 questions about medication storage and found nearly 40 per cent of children treated in emergency departments for medication-related poisoning took their grandparents' medicines">medicines">medicines">medicines.
"Prescription medicines">medicines">medicines">medicines and even over-the-counter medicines">medicines">medicines">medicines and supplements can harm children and teens who find them in grandma's purse or on grandpa's kitchen table. Meanwhile, opioid painkillers and sleep medicines">medicines">medicines">medicines can be diverted for recreational use by teens. No matter how old your grandchildren are, you need to think about medication safety," said Preeti Malani, one of the researchers.
"We know that grandparents love spending time with their grandkids. A few simple steps can keep those little ones safe when you're together. Don't leave medications in your purse or on a kitchen counter it's best to keep them locked up. It's also a good idea to go through your medications every few months and safely discard any that are expired or no longer needed," said Alison Bryant, another researcher of the study.
Malani noted that childproof prescription drug vials and bottles were developed and required starting years ago, specifically to protect children from accidentally swallowing medicine not prescribed to them. Those "childproof" containers, however, can be hard for some adults to open. So the poll asked grandparents if they ever used alternate containers ones that could be easier for children to open.
"If you put your pills into day-of-the-week pill sorters so you can remember whether you took your medicine each day, that's great - but keep that sorter out of the reach of little ones. Make sure you explain to them, and their parents or older siblings, that it's important to stay away from your medicines">medicines">medicines">medicines - that those pills are for you and you alone," said Malani. (ANI)