Family Magazine

Drug Patches and Kids

By Newsanchormom

Drug Patches and Kids
I have heard of the patches that contain pharmaceutical medications like painkillers and birth control, but I never realized how dangerous they are for kids. What happens if a child puts one of these "stickers" on his or her body? How long would it take you to even realize it's there? That's a scary thought. Obviously, an adult dose of medication could be deadly to a small child so you wouldn't leave it laying out. But I can see this happening. My kids love stickers. What if grandma had one in her purse?


An 8-month-old Maine boy who overdosed on powerful painkillers after sucking on a grandparent’s used medication patch is raising alarms about the dangers of drugs that stick to the skin.

The unconscious, barely breathing child was rushed to a local emergency room, where doctors discovered a missing 50-microgram-per-hour Fentanyl patch stuck to the roof of his mouth. He had to be treated with two doses of a quick-acting opiate antidote, said Thomas Clemence, a registered pharmacist at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

The boy survived the June scare, but the close call is prompting patient safety experts to warn parents, grandparents and other caregivers about potential hazards to kids posed by growing numbers and types of transdermal medications.

Some children have found the patches in home trash cans, or had them adhere to their skin after they rubbed off during close contact — even a grandparent's hug — leaving youngsters vulnerable to inadvertent overdoses of drugs ranging from painkillers and nitoglycerin to nicotine from stop-smoking patches.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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