CHPA Statement: CDC’s JAMA Article on Decrease in Pediatric Medication Overdoses

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) released the following statement in response to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Viewpoints article titled, “Prevention of Unintentional Medication Overdose Among Children,” published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA): 

“CHPA applauds CDC’s ambitious Healthy People 2030 goal of reducing pediatric medication overdoses in young children by 35 percent over the next decade. Keeping young children safe by reducing medication dosing errors and preventing them from accidentally ingesting medicines while unsupervised is of the utmost importance to the manufacturers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. 

“CDC’s article in JAMA notes that pediatric medication overdoses have declined by 43 percent since 2010. We are incredibly proud that CDC acknowledges the impact OTC manufacturers’ voluntary actions have had in contributing to this downward trend. These actions include OTC manufacturers’ voluntary adoption of mL-only dosing on liquid pediatric products and adding flow restrictors on pediatric OTC liquid acetaminophen products. 

“While reducing medication errors is important, as CDC points out in their article, the vast majority (95 percent) of pediatric medication overdoses are the result of accidental unsupervised ingestions (AUIs). It is crucial for parents and caregivers to remember that the most impactful ways to reduce accidental unsupervised ingestions are by keeping medicines in their original child-resistant containers, securely closing the cap after using the medicine, and storing all medicines up and away, out of children's reach and sight after each time the product is used. Therefore, CDC’s article in JAMA further underscores the importance of ongoing education about safe medicine storage.

“The CHPA Educational Foundation is a long-time supporter and promoter of efforts educating parents about safe medicine storage to prevent AUIs through the Up & Away campaign, led by the CDC and its PROTECT Initiative, of which the CHPA Educational Foundation is a member. In addition, the CHPA Educational Foundation leads additional efforts educating parents about safe dosing through the Treat with Care campaign, which provides parents and caregivers with the information they need to safely treat their children’s cough and cold symptoms with pediatric OTC liquid cough and cold medicines.” 


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Founded in 1881, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the national trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, dietary supplements, and consumer medical devices. Every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system more than $7, contributing a total of $146 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to empowering consumer self-care by preserving and expanding choice and availability of consumer healthcare products. www.chpa.org

Contact: Lauren Bloomberg, 202-429-3534, Lbloomberg@chpa.org