Medication Safety Toolkit Available for National Poison Prevention Week

03/17/2014
Children learn about medication safety

Cardinal Health Foundation, The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy Release Fifth Generation Rx Toolkit to Educate Youth

DUBLIN, Ohio, March 13, 2014 — According to a recent study conducted by Safe Kids Worldwide, more than 67,000 children were treated in emergency departments for medicine poisoning in 2011. The increased accessibility of prescription and over-the-counter medicines, coupled with children’s natural curiosity, makes it important to educate today’s youth in medication safety at an early age.

To address the topic of medication safety head on and in time for National Poison Prevention Week ─ March 16-22, 2014, The Cardinal Health Foundation and The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy introduced the Medication Safety toolkit, the fifth in a series of interactive toolkits designed to help reduce the abuse of prescription drugs. The Medication Safety toolkit is designed to arm parents, teachers, organizational leaders and health professionals across the country with the necessary resources to discuss the issue of medication safety with elementaryaged children.

"We are excited to provide our communities with this versatile collection of engaging activities that help educate today’s youth about how to safely use and store medicine,” said Molly Downing, Ph.D., fellow, Pharmacology Education and Outreach at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy. “Whether you are a parent, teacher, organizational leader or health professional, this toolkit equips adults with the necessary resources to discuss this important issue with children before they enter their teen and adult years."

The Medication Safety toolkit was created by The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy faculty, staff, and students, in collaboration with local elementary schools. The toolkit includes materials appropriate for elementary-aged children grades K-5. The materials focus on four medication safety principles:

  • Only take medicine given by a trusted adult.
  • Do not share medication or take someone else’s medication.
  • Keep medications in their original containers to avoid confusion with candy or other medicines.
  • Always store medicine in a safe place, such as a locked cabinet or a high shelf that children cannot reach.

From activity stations and supplemental worksheets to games and visual aids, the contents of this toolkit allow for customization based on the audience and venue to help foster conversation and educate the young participants on how to use medicines safely. The various materials included in the toolkit can easily be implemented in the upcoming Nationwide Poison Prevention Week, an initiative led by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

"Our newest toolkit allows adults to start the conversation of medication safety at a very early age,” said Betsy Walker, manager, Community Relations at Cardinal Health. “This collection of age-appropriate resources provides a foundation for educating our youth about how to use medicines safely before entering their formative years, where prescription drug abuse starts becoming a prevalent issue.”

The Medication Safety toolkit can be found at http://go.osu.edu/generationrx. The site also hosts four additional toolkits aimed at different audiences including teens, college students, adults and seniors to prevent medication misuse and abuse.

About Cardinal Health
Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE: CAH) is a $101 billion health care services company that improves the cost-effectiveness of health care. As the business behind health care, Cardinal Health helps pharmacies, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, clinical laboratories and physician offices focus on patient care while reducing costs, enhancing efficiency and improving quality. Cardinal Health is an essential link in the health care supply chain, providing pharmaceuticals and medical products and services to more than 100,000 locations each day and is also the industry-leading direct-to-home medical supplies distributor. The company is a leading manufacturer of medical and surgical products, including gloves, surgical apparel and fluid management products. In addition, the company operates the nation's largest network of radiopharmacies that dispense products to aid in the early diagnosis and treatment of disease. Ranked #19 on the Fortune 500, Cardinal Health employs 33,000 people worldwide. More information about the company may be found at www.cardinalhealth.com and @CardinalHealth on Twitter.

About The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy
Established in 1885, The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy is a global leader in pharmaceutical education, research and clinical practice. As part of one of the most comprehensive health sciences campus in the nation, the college is home to world-class faculty, dedicated researchers and top students who are leading the way in pharmacy education, practice and research. The college’s graduate programs are currently ranked 7th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, or learn more on our website at pharmacy.osu.edu.

[Emergency department drug-related poisoning]
http://www.ncdoi.com/osfm/safekids/Documents/2013-medication-safety-report.pdf