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Child resistant caps put to the test

PORTLAND (WGME) -- When we see medicine bottle caps, we think childproof and kids can't open them.  But that is not the case.  We put a group of pre- kindergartners to the test to see how easy it is for them to pop the caps and the results were, frankly, shocking.

Kids are curious about everything.   And they learn quickly.  But that wonderful curiosity can turn dangerous especially when it comes to so-called childproof caps.

Dr. Karen Simone, Director of Northern New England Poison Center, says, "Nothing is childproof.  You need to have multiple ways to keep your child from getting poisoned."

To prove that point we did an experiment.  We sat down with 10 four and five year olds at the Toddle Inn in Saco and challenged them to open empty and clean vitamin and medicine bottles all with child resistant caps.  In less than 10 seconds, the first cap came off.  And the caps kept coming off.
 
After a few minutes, we asked how many got off at least one cap.  And most of the hands shot up.
 
Dr. Karen Simone says about 50 per cent of the calls they get in Maine a year are about kids, that's almost 7,000.  One to two year olds get into the most danger swallowing things they shouldn't.

Dr. Simone says, "Medicine shakes like a rattle when it's in the bottle and it's very distracting for children.  And a lot of people believe since there is a child resistant closure on there that it's safe for children to handle."

But as the kids showed us, it's not. As any parent knows children are fast and that can be deadly.

Dr. Simone says "Some medications are so toxic that just one tablet or less than a tablet can seriously harm or kill a child."

Its a mistake that cannot be erased.

Dr. Simone says most poisonings happen in organized households when an adult gets distracted.  She suggests:
*put medication out of reach right away. 
*Don't get distracted by a phone call or someone at the door when medication is out. 
*Never allow kids see you taking pills.  
*Make sure the caps are on tight.
*And be aware grandparents might have drugs that are easily accessible either at their home or in the a purse.

Northern New England Poison Control:
*http://www.nnepc.org/
*1-800-222-1222

The Northern New England Poison Control put together the following list.
Medicines that may cause serious poisoning in small children with 1 or 2 pills*
Type:
Opioids
Treatment for Addiction
Pain Medications
Diarrhea Medicine  
    Methadone
    Buprenorphine
    Morphine
    Oxycodone
    Diphenoxylate/atropine

Diabetes (some)   
    Glipizide
    Glyburide

Heart (some)
Blood Pressure Medicine (some)
Heart Rhythm Medicine   
    Verapamil
    Diltiazem
    Nifedipine
    Nicardipine
    Amlodipine
    Felodipine
    Disopyramide
    Flecainide
    Quinidine
    Procainamide

ADHD Medications (some)   
    Clonidine
    Guanfacine

Antidepressants (some)   
    Amitriptyline
    Desipramine
    Imipramine

Miscellaneous   
    Hydroxychloroquine
*This list is NOT all-inclusive.  There are other medications and chemicals that can cause serious poisoning in small amounts.  Call the Northern New England Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for help.