Does your college-bound child know what to do if they make a mistake with their medicines?


After high school, many young adults, ages 18 through 24, look forward to new and exciting opportunities. Many of them leave home for college, work, or military service. They feel extremely independent and able to handle most situations. With the use of technology, they can usually find the help and answers they need within minutes when problems arise. But, this can also be a very stressful time in life. If your child needs to take medicine to treat a medical condition, mistakes can happen. This can lead to a life-threatening situation. The question is, should they turn to the Internet for answers?


The Internet is great for gathering information, especially if you are embarrassed about a situation and want to keep your questions private. But some information found on the Internet may not be reliable. It is often times difficult to sort through all the information that is provided especially in an emergency. Valuable time can be lost putting the person in a life-threatening situation.

In April 2012 the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) and experts at America’s 57 poison centers around the country launched the Unquestionable Answers e-poster campaign. The campaign uses various social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter that feature questions that really should be answered by doctors, nurses, and pharmacists at poison centers. The main goal of the campaign is to encourage young people to call their local poison center when they have a poison emergency or questions about potential poisonings. The theme is “Stop searching; just call.” Poison centers provide immediate, expert advice, 24 hours a day, seven days a week that is confidential and free.

Here’s what you can do: Talk to your child about the medicines they need to take or those they may need to take on occasion. Provide them with the Poison Center Hotline (1-800-222-1222). Talk to them about what to do if a medicine mistake is made or a potential poisoning. Encourage your child to seek medical attention (student health center or local hospital emergency room) if advised by a Poison Center or if they have any concerns about their safety.

Created on August 26, 2013

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