CHPA Statement on Pediatrics Article Showing Decrease in Unsupervised Medication Exposures in Young Children

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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) released the following statement today in response to an online article in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which reported a declining number of emergency department (ED) visits for unsupervised medication exposures in young children since 2010. After rising steadily from 2004 through 2010, the number of ED visits for these exposures peaked in 2010. According to the article, after 2010 this trend reversed, and visits decreased by an average of 6.7 percent annually.

“Keeping young children safe by preventing them from accidentally ingesting medicines while unsupervised is of the utmost importance to the makers of over-the-counter medicines,” CHPA President and CEO Scott Melville said. “We are encouraged that this decrease demonstrates that industry’s voluntary labeling and packaging efforts as well as our educational partnerships are keeping kids safe. CHPA is involved in a number of long-term efforts targeted at preventing accidental, unsupervised ingestion of medicines by young children. The most impactful solution is storing all medicines up and away and out of children's reach and sight every time they are used. Through Up and Away and Out of Sight, a campaign led by CHPA’s Educational Foundation and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s PROTECT Initiative, CHPA works to remind parents and caregivers to take this step.

“Our member manufacturers also voluntarily added flow restrictors to infants’ and children’s liquid acetaminophen products in 2011. Flow restrictors are one tool for parents in keeping their children safe because they reduce the amount of medicine that can be ingested if the package is not properly closed or if the child-resistant packaging is defeated. However, because medicines are meant to be accessible, flow restrictors are not sufficient to prevent accidental, unsupervised medicine ingestions. Safe and appropriate storage is.”

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), founded in 1881, is the national trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of consumer healthcare products, including over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, dietary supplements, and consumer medical devices. CHPA is committed to empowering self-care by ensuring that Americans have access to products they can count on to be reliable, affordable, and convenient, while also delivering new and better ways to get and stay healthy. Visit