Two age groups are especially at risk for accidental medicine poisoning. While still a serious concern, many agree that the first group, infants and toddlers ages one to four, are accident prone. The second group is much more unlikely. Surprisingly, Americans 15 to 19 are the second most likely age group to suffer from prescription-related poisoning. In fact, they are six times more likely to suffer from accidental poisoning at the hand of medicine than their much younger counterparts (ages one to four).
Medical packaging companies can do a great deal to help lower these numbers and keep all young Americans, whether they are two or 17, safe. Here’s how:
Safety Starts At The Pharmacy
In 2011, pharmacy and prescription drug sales reached 231.46 million prescriptions — and sales of over-the-counter and prescription drugs continue to increase every year. With that in mind, the first line of defense against accidental poisoning is the pharmacy. In many states, the government now requires pharmacies to use track and trace solutions. Track and trace pharmaceutical software, such as track and trace serialization tools, helps prevent the sale of counterfeit or mislabeled materials by requiring and facilitating location- and manufacturer-specific tracking.
Child Proof Bottles And Packages Save Lives
Child proof packages and child proof bottles save lives, but parents and caretakers also need to do their share. To keep infants and toddlers one to four as safe as possible, always make sure to carefully replace child proof caps. Turn caps slowly and fully, until you hear them click. Keep medications up high and preferably in a closed cabinet with a secured latch. Toddlers who accidentally ingest medicine find it “on the ground, on the nightstand, or in a purse,” InfoZine writes. With nearly half of all Americans (48.5%) taking prescription drugs in the last 30 days, these precautions are necessary and critical.
Blister Packaging Helps Patients Track Use
Finally, teens are most likely to misuse medication by accidentally doubling up (i.e. forgetting that they’ve already taken prescriptions, such as Ritalin). Custom blister packaging is the simplest solution. Teens will be able to see how many pills they have taken, and it is already the most popular packaging type for most dose-based medications.
Preventing medication poisoning depends on the pharmacy (and track and trace solutions) and responsible medical packaging, often in the form of child-proof bottles and easy-to-use blister packaging.