Medication Safety at Home
Medication safety at home is of paramount importance for households where children and adolescents reside. Safe practices around use and storage of medications play a central role in decreasing the risk of accidental ingestions and intentional overdoses. The issue becomes even more important in households where a child or adolescent is receiving mental health treatment.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-Cooperative Adverse Event Surveillance (NEISS-CADES), around 60,000 visits to emergency departments occur each year due to unintentional medication overdoses among children under the age of five. Of those, more than 90% involve children who access the medication on their own, without caregiver oversight. In addition to accidental ingestion by young children, medication overdose is the most commonly used method of self-inflicted harm among children and adolescents.