Teaching 6th Graders About Over-the-Counter Medicine Safety


Sixth grade marks the start of middle school for many American 11-year-olds. Research also indicates that it is the age that children begin to self-medicate. With that in mind, Scholastic and the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) have launched OTC Literacy, an educational campaign to raise awareness about over-the-counter medicine safety. The program is tailored to 6th graders and emphasizes that while OTC medicines are safe when used properly, it is critical to consult a parent or guardian before taking any medication.

“Educating children about medicine safety is essential and can potentially have a life-saving impact as they start to take more responsibility for their health and medications later in life,” said Debbie Carr, Executive Director at AAPCC.

Nearly 70,000 teachers and school nurses nationwide have received free resources and tools to help students identify the differences between prescription and OTC medications, read information on the OTC Drug Facts Label, recognize unsafe situations involving OTC medicines, and use problem-solving skills to brainstorm solutions.

“Our goal is not just to facilitate learning inside the classroom, but also to further the home-to-school connection and engage school nurses and families in helping to reinforce these critical messages and lessons with their children,” said Ann Amstutz-Hayes, Senior Vice President Scholastic Partnerships.

Educators and parents can download all of the OTC Literacy materials on the new website, http://www.scholastic.com/OTCliteracy.

Created on February 1, 2013

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