Accidental Overdoses Send 160 Kids to the ER Every Day: Report

ABC News’ Dr. Richard Besser tells parents how to protect their children.

ByABC News
March 17, 2016, 8:33 AM

— -- About 160 children go to a hospital emergency room every day as a result of accidental medicine overdoses, according to a new report from Safe Kids Worldwide, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization.

The report released this month says 60,000 young children were seen in ERs across the country in 2013 after ingesting pain relievers, prescription drugs or vitamins that adults left either on the ground, in cabinets, in pill organizers, in a purse or diaper bag, or on countertops where children were able to reach the medication.

“Kids will find medicine in all kinds of places,” Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide, said, adding that the report found that 23 percent of the affected children "were finding and getting into medicine from a pill box."

Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News' Chief Health and Medical Editor, said pill boxes and organizers often don't succeed in keeping children out. A recent "GMA" report illustrated that a 4-year-old was able to open a child-resistant pill bottle with just a little tinkering.

“Whoever is watching over that child at that moment and that day has the responsibility of keeping all medicine out of the reach of children,” Carr said.

Watch the video above for Dr. Besser’s advice on how you can protect your children from accidental medicine overdoses.