MIAMI TOWNSHIP (CLERMONT COUNTY), Ohio -- A 6-year-old girl died after taking some of her grandfather's medication Monday night, according to police.
Medics and police were called to a home at about 6:50 p.m. local time. A medical helicopter took the girl to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
Police are awaiting autopsy and toxicology results from the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office. They haven't said how the girl got into the medication or what medication she took.
About 600,000 children end up in U.S. emergency rooms each year after taking medications while an adult wasn't around, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Children are small people, but they're not necessarily small adults, so even a smaller dose of an adult medication can do significant damage in a child," Mercy Health pharmacist Josh Vantreeck said.
The CDC has these guidelines for safely storing medications:
Put medicines up and away and out of children’s reach and sight.
- Children are curious and put all sorts of things in their mouths. Even if you turn your back for less than a minute, they can quickly get into things that could hurt them.
- Pick a storage place in your home that children cannot reach or see. Different families will have different places. Walk around your house and decide on the safest place to keep your medicines and vitamins.
Put medicines away every time.
- This includes medicines and vitamins you use every day. Never leave medicine out on a kitchen counter or at a sick child's bedside, even if you have to give it again in a few hours.
Make sure the safety cap is locked.
- Always relock the cap on a medicine bottle. If the bottle has a locking cap that turns, twist it until you hear the click or cannot twist anymore.
- Remember, even though many medicines have safety caps, children may be able to open them. Every medicine must be stored up and away and out of children’s reach and sight.
Teach your children about medicine safety.
- Teach your children what medicine is and why you or a trusted adult must be the one to give it to them.
- Never tell children medicine is candy to get them to take it, even if they don’t like to take their medicine.
Tell your guests about medicine safety.
- Ask family members, houseguests and other visitors to keep purses, bags or coats that have medicine in them up and away and out of sight when they are in your home.
Be prepared in case of an emergency.
- Call your poison control center at 800-222-1222 right away if you think a child might have gotten into a medicine or vitamin, even if you are not completely sure.
- Program the Poison Help number into your home and cellphones so you will have it when you need it.