Health Officials Encourage Parents To Secure Meds To Avoid Halloween Candy Confusion

Oct 27, 2016

Credit Up and Away campaign

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is partnering with other health officials to remind parents to avoid “candy confusion” by keep their medications and their children’s Halloween candy separate.

As part of the “Up and Away” campaign, Tallahassee family nurse practitioner Kathy Wilson says it’s important parents secure their medications “up and away” and get them off the counter.

“Every year, about 60,000 young children end up in the emergency room after getting medications that have been left within their reach,” she said. “And, it’s about nearly four school busloads of children per day. That’s a lot of kids. So, it’s a big, big problem.”

And, she says it’s an issue that can get worse with Halloween “candy confusion.”

“Think about a gummy bear,” added Wilson. “It sometimes looks like a multiple vitamin. An altoid mint can look like aspirin. An antacid can look like a sweet tart.”

Wilson says even with the fall season, some allergy medicine can look like an M&M. So, she recommends parents have their medicine locked in a cabinet at all times to avoid an ER visit.

“And, a locked cabinet would be wonderful, but we know that not everybody has the ability to have locked cabinets,” she continued. “As long as they are up and away that would be helpful. Another point is to talk to your child—even young children—about when they have to take medicine, why they’re taking it and why only you as the caregiver—the parent or the grandparent—have to give them the medication, and never call medication, candy.”

Wilson also wants caregivers to save the Poison Control help number in their phone: 1-800-222-1222.

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