Pet medications pose a threat to kids, study says

Story highlights

  • One poison center received more than 1,400 calls over 15 years about children exposed to pets' medicines
  • Medications should be in child-safe bottles out of reach of children and away from human medications

(CNN)A warning to parents: Your pets' medications need to be secured just like pills intended for humans.

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics suggests that many households don't safeguard pets' medicines, which can unintentionally end up in the hands and mouths of young children.
    "It's much more common than we thought," said study author Henry Spiller, director of the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital.
      The Central Ohio Poison Center received 1,431 calls about children exposed to veterinary medications from 1999 to 2013, the study found. More than 87% of the calls were about children younger than 5.
      The study found that most cases didn't result in a serious medical effect: About 6% were referred to a health care facility, and two resulted in a "moderate health effect," including a 3-year-old who ingested a preventive heartworm medication for dogs and a 9-month-old who ingested doxepin, generally used in dogs to treat symptoms related t