Childproof packaging removed in most accidental poisonings in children, study says

(CNN) - More than 300 people under the age of 19 in the United States are treated in an emergency room because of being poisoned, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.

A new study aimed to figure out why accidental poisonings have become a common occurrence.

The Poison Prevention Packaging Act passed in 1970 required a number of household items like cleaning chemicals, flammable liquids and prescriptions to have child-resistant packaging.

Accidental medication poisonings in young children fell significantly after it was passed, but a new study in the Journal of Pediatrics says in the last 20 years, the use of medications has gone up and so have unintended medication exposures in young children.

Researchers analyzed nearly 4,500 calls to five U.S. poison centers in Arizona, Florida and Georgia over an eight month period in 2017.

They found more than half of the prescription medicine exposures in children happened because the medication had been previously removed from original packaging.

Most of the time, parents and grandparents took pills out to remember to take them or to make them easier to travel with, the study shows.

The authors say efforts to reduce child medication poisonings should encourage adults to keep medicine in child-resistant packaging and out of reach of children.

The CDC says other ways to prevent accidental poisonings in children is to lock up medicines and dispose of prescriptions that are expired or no longer needed.

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