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      Unsafe storage of household medicines: results from a cross-sectional study of four-year-olds from the 2004 Pelotas birth cohort (Brazil)

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          Unintentional child poisoning represents a significant public health problem across the globe, placing a substantial burden on health services emergency departments. Around the world, every year, thousands of children die as a result of physical injuries, most of which involve children under 5 years old. Medicines are the main products involved in poisoning, and children under 5 years old are the most vulnerable age group. The objective of this study was to measure the prevalence of unsafe storage of medicines in households with a 4-year-old child.


          We used data from the follow-up of 4-year-old in the 2004 Pelotas Birth Cohort Study in Brazil ( N = 3799). “Unsafe storage” was considered present when medicines were stored unlocked and within reach of children (at a height below the eye level of the average adult). Independent variables included maternal and family socioeconomic and demographic characteristics and the child’s health care. All information was collected during household interviews with the mothers using a standardized questionnaire. The overall prevalence rate with a 95% confidence interval (95% CI) and the prevalence associated with various independent variables were determined.


          The storage of medicines in unlocked areas was reported by 80.9% of the mothers, and, within reach of children for 26.5%. The overall prevalence rate of unsafe storage of medicines was 21.4% (20.1–22.7%). The main storage locations used were the kitchen (57.0%) and bedroom (53.3%).


          The results indicate that medicines were unsafely stored in a 21.4% number of homes, which can contribute to the vulnerability of children to poisoning from medicines. To minimize this risk, education about the safe storage of medicines should be reinforced by health professionals.

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          Most cited references 43

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          2014 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 32nd Annual Report

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            Cohort Profile Update: 2004 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort Study. Body composition, mental health and genetic assessment at the 6 years follow-up

            This is an update of the 2004 Pelotas Birth Cohort profile, originally published in 2011. In view of the high prevalence of overweight and mental health problems among Brazilian children, together with the availability of state-of-the-art equipment to assess body composition and diagnostic tests for mental health in childhood, the main outcomes measured in the fifth follow-up (mean age 6.8 years) included child body composition, mental health and cognitive ability. A total of 3722 (90.2%) of the original mothers/carers were interviewed and their children examined in a clinic where they underwent whole-body dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), air displacement plethysmography and a 3D photonic scan. Saliva samples for DNA were obtained. Clinical psychologists applied the Development and Well-Being Assessment questionnaire and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children to all children. Results are being compared with those of the two earlier cohorts to assess the health effects of economic growth and full implementation of public policies aimed at reducing social inequalities in the past 30 years. For further information visit the programme website at [http://www.epidemio-ufpel.org.br/site/content/coorte_2004/questionarios.php]. Applications to use the data should be made by contacting 2004 cohort researchers and filling in the application form available at [http://www.epidemio-ufpel.org.br/site/content/estudos/formularios.php].
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              Medication overdoses leading to emergency department visits among children.

              The high prevalence of medication use increases the potential for medication overdoses, especially among children. This paper describes the burden of unintentional pediatric medication overdoses in order to target new prevention efforts. Data were analyzed in 2007 and 2008 from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, collected January 1, 2004, through December 31, 2005, to estimate the number of emergency department visits resulting from unintentional medication overdoses among children aged

                Author and article information

                BMC Pediatr
                BMC Pediatr
                BMC Pediatrics
                BioMed Central (London )
                12 July 2019
                12 July 2019
                : 19
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0643 9823, GRID grid.411287.9, Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri (UFVJM), ; Diamantina, MG Brazil
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2134 6519, GRID grid.411221.5, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Epidemiologia e Instituto de Biologia, Departamento de Fisiologia e Farmacologia, , Universidade Federal de Pelotas (UFPel), ; Rua Marechal Deodoro, 1160, Centro CEP 96020-220, Pelotas, RS Brazil
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0444 6202, GRID grid.412344.4, Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre (UFCSPA), ; Porto Alegre, RS Brazil
                [4 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1937 0722, GRID grid.11899.38, Departamento de Medicina Preventiva, Faculdade de Medicina FMUSP, , Universidade de São Paulo, ; São Paulo, SP Brazil
                [5 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2134 6519, GRID grid.411221.5, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Epidemiologia, , Universidade Federal de Pelotas (UFPel), ; Pelotas, RS Brazil
                © The Author(s). 2019

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Funded by: Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (BR) CNPq
                Award ID: 481141/2007-3
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: Fundação de Amparo à   Pesquisa do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul – FAPERGS
                Award ID: 04/0882.7
                Research Article
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                © The Author(s) 2019


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