Our daughter, Maisie, died after ingesting a methadone tablet at a neighbor’s home that was on the ground. Six adults, three of them medical doctors, had been together with her your entire night. Nonetheless, the small white tablet discovered her hand, after which, as a nine-month-old child would do, discovered her mouth. After placing Maisie to mattress throughout her regular routine, her mom MaryBeth discovered her useless from an overdose the next morning.
Screams, tears, paramedics, coronary heart breaking cellphone calls, funeral companies, and a police investigation adopted. None of it modified the result. Maisie died as a result of medicine was not safely saved up and away, out of her sight and attain. Maisie’s demise ought to by no means have occurred.
Finally, Maisie’s tragic demise was casually labeled to be merely an “unintentional overdose” – with no accountability or motion, solely the traumatic lack of life and grieving dad and mom, associates, and household. As her dad and mom, now we have unfold her story and legacy to whomever will pay attention by way of native information, the entrance web page of USA At the moment, podcasts, well being organizations, advocacy teams, and with the federal government at each native and federal ranges with one objective: We are not looking for there to be any extra households with our expertise. We wish modifications in conduct, packaging, and practices so no households endure like ours and there are not any funerals for an pointless sufferer of the opioid epidemic.
Sadly, poisonings of kids, like Maisie, will not be unusual. Roughly 35,000 younger kids are dropped at the emergency room every year as a result of they obtained into medicines that had been left inside attain. Fortunately, the overwhelming majority will not be life threatening – however kids proceed to search out substances they need to not have entry to.
What are you able to do to maintain your family members secure? Hold medicines, nutritional vitamins, and different dietary supplements (together with gummies) “up and away” in a spot the place younger kids can’t see or attain them. To assist shield your kids or grandchildren:
- maintain all medicines in a child-resistant container with the protection cap locked – many different containers, comparable to tablet packing containers, will not be and will be simply opened by kids.
- maintain medicines up and away and out of sight and attain of younger kids, like in a excessive cupboard or on a excessive closet shelf.
- by no means go away unfastened capsules out on a counter or desk – maintain capsules in child-resistant containers till proper earlier than you are taking them.
It’s simple for capsules to fall on the ground and roll out of sight the place younger kids may discover them. Take time to comb or vacuum the ground if kids shall be visiting. In case you are touring, both with younger kids or to go to them, you’ll want to pack your medicines in child-resistant containers. In the event you’re staying in a resort, you possibly can put medicines within the resort room secure or on a excessive shelf within the closet.
Past your day after day, you can even promote unit of use packaging (e.g., blister packs) for medicine which might be recognized to be deadly in small quantities. Unit of use packaging permits the individual taking the medicine to solely entry one tablet at a time and helps to maintain medicine out of kids’s attain.
One tablet can kill. Youngster-resistant packaging legal guidelines have modified little since 1970, and with the SUPPORT Act of 2018, the U.S. authorities has the authority to make our medicines safer for everybody. We don’t get to lift Maisie, however we are going to all the time be her dad and mom, and supporting and selling secure medicine practices is a technique for us to do this.
To study extra about medicine security and secure storage, go to Up and Away Marketing campaign | Medicine Security Program | CDC.
Adam and MaryBeth Gillan reside in Rochester, NY, and are dad and mom to 4 kids: Rhona, Maisie, Conway, and Archie. Adam works for a big client items firm and MaryBeth sits on the board of Camp Stella Maris in Livonia, NY and oversees the Purple Mild Challenge, a fund in Maisie’s reminiscence.