About the PROTECT Initiative
Started in 2008, the PROTECT Initiative brings together public health agencies, private sector companies, professional organizations, consumer/patient advocates, and academic experts all focused on keeping children safe from unintentional medication overdoses, to search for innovations to reduce accidental medication overdoses in children.
The greater use of over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications by people of all ages has led to an increase in the number of unintentional overdoses and children are especially vulnerable. Each year, more than 60,000 children under the age of 6 are taken to the emergency department (ED) for accidental medication overdoses. Most of these ED visits (approximately 90%) are made after a young child accesses and ingests too much medicine on his/her own. In addition, according to a recent study in the journal Pediatrics, a child receives the wrong medication or the wrong dosage every eight minutes in the United States. Finally, nearly 700,000 calls were made to poison centers after children under 6 years old experienced an out-of-hospital medication error between 2002 and 2012. Of these episodes, one in four of the children was under 1 year old.
“Unintentional medication ingestions and errors in young children are preventable. Using a data-driven approach, PROTECT Initiative partners are working to improve child-resistant safety packaging and dosing directions.” said Dan Budnitz, MD, MPH (CAPT, USPHS), who directs the Medication Safety Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The PROTECT Initiative encourages innovative approaches to addressing unintentional overdoses in children. The Edison Nation Medical innovation search provides a unique opportunity to collect, evaluate and commercialize new ideas for addressing this problem.”
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