HealthWatch: Preventing overdoses in children

If medication is not secured properly and safely, it can cause accidental overdoses in children.
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 7:16 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - An increasing number of people are being hospitalized due to accidental overdoses. Dr. Cara Hamilton with Black Hills Pediatrics has some tips on how you can keep your children safe.

“No matter you’re feeling on legalized marijuana in South Dakota or if you yourself use legal and prescribed drugs or illegal drugs. I think we can all agree that children should stay away from these medications and drugs,”said Hamilton.

“But the fact is that there have been increasing rates of accidental ingestion and it’s not surprising considering edible gummies look like fruit snacks and colorful pills can be confused for candy. But ingestions are very dangerous and in the short term can cause heart arrhythmias and blood pressure problems, lethargy, insomnolence, that can lead to longer-term problems like learning difficulties and other brain damage.

“If you think your child may have ingested medication or know they have make sure you’re contacting poison control and proceeding to the nearest emergency department. But the good news is we can prevent a lot of this, with some simple and easy steps.

“For those younger children, it might be as simple as making sure all your medications are stored high and out of reach. But to be even safer get a lockbox, for those older children who might be a little curious and interested in experimentation, again a lockbox is probably your best bet. For those depressed teens that might overdose in an attempt for suicide, that lockbox is going to be the safest bet.

“Lockboxes can be found for free on These steps will definitely decrease your child’s risk of overdose or accidental ingestion. But better yet if you with your doctor’s approval, can wean off any of these medications, get help if you need it and get the medicines out of the house, that will protect your kids even better, and our kids are worth it,” she said.