Measures To Prevent Accidental Child Poisoning

May 08, 1998

(Child resistant packaging should be used on all over the counter drugs)

(Child resistant packaging should be legal requirement)

(Manufacturer's reply)


Three letters in this week's BMJ address the issue of accidental child poisoning. In response to two letters citing Tixylix cough mixture as a particular problem, the manufacturer, Novartis Consumer Health, states that this product is soon to be packaged in a child resistant container, but also offers advice about how accidental poisoning can be avoided. They state that it is important for parents to store medicines well out of the reach of children (preferably in a locked cupboard). They also suggest that it is important to minimise the child's exposure to the container, opening and pouring measures whilst the child is out of sight and ensuring that the cap is firmly replaced after use. Novartis note that most reports of misuse occured with medicines in child resistant packaging.

Both Clive Newman and colleagues from Queen's Medical Centre at the University Hospital in Nottingham and John O'Donnell et al from the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh conclude that the only way to ensure that all liquid medicines are supplied in child resistant containers would be to introduce appropriate legislation.

Contact:

John O'Donnell, Specialist Registrar in Accident and Emergency Medicine, St John's Hospital, Livingstone, Edinburgh

Clive Newman, Senior Pharmacist, Queen's Medical Centre, University Hospital, Nottingham

David S Kettle, Director of Regulatory and Medical Affairs, Novartis Consumer Health, Horsham, West Sussex
-end-


BMJ

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