Children 1 to 2 Years of Age Account for Nearly 70% of ER Visits Relating to Medicine Poisoning
According to a report issued by Safe Kids Worldwide, nearly 60,000 children in the United States are accidentally poisoned by prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Nearly every minute of every day, there is a poison control center in the U.S. receiving a call about a child who ingested prescription or over-the-counter drugs.
Studies show that Americans today fill nearly three times as many prescriptions as they did in the 1980s and spend five times as much on over-the-counter drugs. Young children – especially toddlers – are at the greatest risk for prescription and over-the-counter drug poisoning; kids ages 1 to 2 years of age account for about 70 percent of emergency room visits relating to medicine poisoning. One of the reasons behind this statistic is that children can often find medicine in all kinds of places: in purses, on the ground, in diaper bags, on counters, in refrigerators, in medicine boxes and in cupboards or drawers.
Protecting Your Child
Many medicines look, taste, and even smell like candy making them enticing to children. Whether or not the medicine is intended for children or adults, the ingestion of prescription or over-the-counter drugs can quickly cause serious and life-threatening injuries. Medications are listed as the leading cause of child poisoning in the nation.
Below are basic medication safety tips to try to prevent child prescription and over-the-counter drug poisoning:
- Do not take medicine in front of children, as they usually mimic what they see;
- Keep all medications – prescription and over-the-counter – where the child cannot see or reach them;
- Ask the pharmacist for child-proof packing and use it;
- Keep all medications in their original, manufacturer’s, packaging; and
- Remember that child-proof packing only slows a child down – other safety measures should still be taken.
Negligent Child Caregiver Liability
Child medicine poisoning accidents can happen when children are under the care and supervision of child caregivers or even neighbor. Day care facilities, child care centers and nurseries have been found responsible in the past for child poisoning injuries. These businesses can be held accountable under a theory called negligent supervision. When a child caregiver assumes responsibility for a child’s well-being they must exercise reasonable care when monitoring and caring for the child. Under the right supervision almost every type of medication poisoning accident is avoidable.
Sometimes we have neighbors and friends babysit our children. In this situation the babysitter also has a duty to exercise reasonable care. This duty is not created based on a contract like when a parent hires a child care center to watch her child, instead, all that is needed is an agreement between you and your neighbor that they will babysit. Once the agreement is made they have a duty to act in a reasonable and prudent manner. Someone would not be acting in a reasonable and prudent manner if they exposed a child to poisonous medications.
If a choking injury occurred at a neighbor or relative’s home then our lawyers would be able to bring your accident claim against their homeowners insurance. Going after someone’s homeowners insurance policy is not the same thing as going after them personally as their insurance company would pay on the claim.
Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drugs and Product Liability
Depending on the facts of your particular case, you may be able to bring a product liability claim in order to seek damages for your child’s injury. To succeed your lawyer will need to prove any one of the following:
- The medication was defectively manufactured;
- The medication was defectively designed;
- The manufacture failed to provide adequate working of known risks and side effects of the medication;
- The medication was defectively packaged
Boston Area Personal Injury Attorneys With Experience You Can Count On
Initial Consultations Are Always Free – No Fee Unless We Recover For You
If your child or the child of a loved one has suffered an injury due to prescription and over-the-counter drug poisoning, this may be the result of the negligence of another. If these circumstances are true, you have the right to hold the companies or individuals responsible for the child’s injuries. The child prescription and over-the-counter poisoning attorneys at The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan have represented the families of child victims for more than 35 years and have handled all types of injury cases including those involving child prescription and over-the-counter poisoning.
No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away. Call our law offices today to schedule a free no-obligation case review and consultation at (508) 588-0422 or click the link below to use our Free Case Evaluation Form.
Child Prescription Drug Overdose Injury lawyers assist clients throughout all of Massachusetts including, but not limited to, those in the following counties, cities and towns: Plymouth County, Brockton, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Marshfield, Hingham, Duxbury, Wareham, Abington, Rockland, Whitman, Hanson, Holbrook, Middleborough; Norfolk County including Quincy, Stoughton, Dedham, Weymouth, Braintree, Avon, Holbrook, Randolph, Canton, Sharon, Brookline, Franklin; Bristol County including New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Attleboro, Westport, Dartmouth, Mansfield, Easton, Raynham, Lakeville, Norton; Cape Cod, Hyannis, Falmouth, Barnstable and the Greater Boston area including Cambridge, Somerville, Medford, Everett, Lawrence, Lynn, Revere, Dorchester, Roxbury.