Safe Use and Administration of Medication to Young Children

mother with baby and dad behind accessing a cabinet

Commemorate National Poison Prevention Week by learning about risk and protective factors for poisonings among young children and how these injuries can be prevented. Medication errors and unsupervised exposures to medications are responsible for approximately 1,100 poison control center-reported cases and 130 emergency department visits daily for children ages 5 and under. (1,2) In this webinar, Dan Budnitz, CDC, will use data to describe key characteristics and risk factors for these exposures and errors. Data-driven prevention activities of the CDC-led public-private PROTECT (PRevention of Overdoses and Treatment Errors in Children) Taskforce will illustrate how these emergency visits have changed in the last decade. Dr. Shonna Yin, NYU School of Medicine, will share safe dosing strategies and discuss challenges and opportunities for supporting parents. Mary Leonard, Consumer Healthcare Products Association, will present the evidence-based campaign, Up and Away and Out of Sight, designed to prevent unintentional ingestions among young children, and share the free campaign resources available to providers. Maureen Perkins, HRSA, will moderate this webinar.  

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion. Data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System Cooperative Adverse Drug Event Surveillance (NEISS-CADES) project.

2. Gummin DD, Mowry JB, Spyker DA, et al. 2018 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 36th Annual Report. Clinical Toxicology (Phila). 2019;57(12):1220-1413. doi:10.1080/15563650.2019.1677022


Daniel Budnitz

Daniel Budnitz, MD, MPH, CAPT US Public Health Service, directs the Medication Safety Program at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). His work in medication safety, public health surveillance, and injury prevention has led to implementation of new safety policies by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Food and Drug Administration and a Federal Action Plan for Adverse Drug Event Prevention, which focuses attention on safe management of anticoagulants, diabetes drugs, and opioid analgesics. He also launched the PROTECT Initiative, a public-private partnership to reduce medication overdoses in children through implementation of new child-resistant packaging, standards for dosing, and a national public education campaign ( Dr. Budnitz joined CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in 2001. He has authored over 90 publications including seminal articles on medication safety surveillance. Dr. Budnitz has practiced general internal medicine at the Atlanta VA Medical Center and the Emory/Grady Health System in Atlanta and is currently a Captain in the US Public Health Service.

Mary Leonard

Mary Leonard, M.A., is responsible for overseeing the strategic management of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) Educational Foundation, a 501c3 organization dedicated to promoting the safe and responsible use of consumer healthcare products, including over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements. Leonard manages the foundation’s award-winning consumer education programming, alliance/partnership development, donor engagement and fundraising, strategic planning, and board management. She is the lead on the foundation’s flagship campaigns Know Your Dose and Up and Away. Leonard led the development and implementation of CHPA's integrated marketing communications programs and initiatives for five years. In this role, she provided strategic direction to the association's overall brand strategy through print, digital, and new media platforms, elevating awareness about CHPA’s programs and strengthening relationships with members and stakeholders.  

Maureen Perkins

Maureen Perkins, MPH, is currently on detail as a team lead with the Poison Control Program in the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). In this role, Maureen serves as the lead analyst and provides management support for the Poison Control Program (PCP) within the Division of Child, Adolescent and Family Health (DCAFH) in the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The PCP maintains the national toll-free Poison Help Hotline (800-222-1222), implements the national media campaign to educate the public and health care providers about poisoning prevention including, and awards grants to poison control centers. Prior to her work on the PCP, Maureen was a member of the Injury and Violence Prevention Team and worked on HRSA's Bullying Prevention Initiative, the National Action Partnership to Promote Safe Sleep, and the Children’s Safety Network. She represented HRSA on the Editorial Board for, the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention as well as the federal SUID/SIDS Workgroup. Before joining MCHB, she served as a program analyst with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration focusing on impaired driving prevention programs at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

H. Shonna Yin

H. Shonna Yin, MD, MSc, is a general academic pediatrician and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Population Health at the NYU School of Medicine. She is a federally funded researcher who has spent 15+ years examining strategies to improve pediatric healthcare quality and safety, using a health literacy lens. A large focus of her research centers on the intersection between health literacy and medication safety, including the development and evaluation of low literacy interventions to improve parent understanding of medication instructions. Dr. Yin’s NIH/NICHD-funded research supported the identification of best practices in the labeling/dosing of pediatric prescription medication labels and dosing tools, informing clinical practice and policy. This includes AAP Policy Statements supporting safe medication administration, as well as pharmacy standards-setting guidance from the US Pharmacopoeia and NCPDP (National Council for Prescription Drug Programs). Dr. Yin is the AAP’s representative to the CDC’s PROTECT initiative. Her contributions to pediatric medication safety led her to be selected to receive the 2017 Institute for Safe Medication Practices Cheers Award in recognition for outstanding research on strategies to prevent parent medication administration errors.

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