The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that accidental drug overdoses among children is increasing in the U.S., with more than 160 children treated in emergency rooms every day -- a total of 60,000 a year -- for an accidental overdose.

The CDC notes that even with improvements to childproof packaging, the incidences of accidental overdoses continue to increase, primarily due to the inattention of adults. The CDC recommends the following steps to guard against injury to a child because of an accidental drug overdose:

  • Put all medications and vitamins in a place that children can’t reach.
  • Put medicines and vitamins away every time you use them. Never leave them out on a kitchen counter or at a sick child’s bedside, even if you have to give the medicine again in a few hours.
  • Listen for the click to make sure the safety cap on medicines is locked.
  • Teach children about medicine safety. Never tell children that medicine is candy to get them to take it.
  • Tell guests about medicine safety. Ask house guests and visitors to keep purses, bags, and coats that have medicines in them up and away and out of sight when they are visiting.
  • Be prepared in case of emergency. Program the poison control phone number into home and cell phones (800-222-1222).

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