A new study finds poison control centers in the U.S. receive more than 30 calls a day about children being exposed to prescription opioids. Doctors say there's a disconnect between what parents know they should do and what they actually do to keep their medications away from children.
A study in the Journal "Pediatrics" found the main groups at risk for exposure are curious youngsters under 5 and teenagers, looking to get high or harm themselves. And while pediatric exposure to most prescription painkillers has declined, exposure to buphrenorphine continues to climb. It's prescribed to people who've previously been addicted to drugs.
Poison Center Medical Director Dr. Marcel Casavant said, "Buprenorphine is the safest for the addicts, it turns out to be extremely dangerous to young children."
These medicines can make children sleepy, even to the point of coma and death. They can also slow and even stop breathing.
Dr. White says parents should store medication up, out of sight, and out of reach, after every use and keep the medicine in its original packaging.