Yesterday I was involved in ‘Think Corner’ which is a public engagement pop-up shop hosted by the University of Birmingham based in the city centre (http://thinkcorner.co.uk/about/). This has been part of the British Science festival (http://www.britishscienceassociation.org/british-science-festival) which has been taking place in Birmingham.
I was showcasing information on children’s medicines and asking children and families about their ideal medicine – there is usually lots of interest and children can choose colours, shapes and flavours of tablets that they think would be the best for them. We also share the issues around providing medicines for children with parents and let people have a go at splitting, crushing and suspending tablets to see what challenges are involved everyday for some parents.
There is a careful balance to be struck between tablets that are acceptable and those that are appealing – if tablets look to much like sweets (candy) there is a temptation to take too many. This was particularly timely as yesterday I read a report of children’s exposure to laundry detergent packs with over 900 children under 5 being exposed in a 6 month period in Texas. This struck me as a high number with clinical outcomes including vomiting, cough/choke, oral irritation and skin irritation – if a laundry detergent can have these effects consider how serious medical overdose could be (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0736467914007306).
Certainly a message to get across to parents and children in future.