The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued some recommendations on protecting children from accidental poisoning after ingesting eyedrops and decongestants, Web MD reports.
The recommendations came after the FDA put out a warning that a wide range of brand-name and generic varieties of eyedrops and decongestants don’t come in child-resistant packages, and can sicken children.
The medicines in both types of product, which cause blood vessels to constrict, are harmless when used as directed. But less than a fifth of a teaspoon can hospitalize children, or even put them in a coma.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says that from 1997 through 2009, eye drops injured more than 4,500 children under the age of 5 and nasal sprays injured more than 1,100.
The FDA provides the following recommendations for parents and caregivers:
- Keep the medicines in a safe location. It should be too high for young children to reach or see.
- Ask babysitters, visitors and houseguests to keep any purses, bags, or coats with medicines in them away and out of sight.
- Never leave the medicines at a child’s bedside or on a kitchen counter.
- Children tend to mimic adults. So avoid taking medicines in front of young children because they may try to mimic you.
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