Each year, opioid medication poisoning causes more than 300 deaths in children and teens. (1) This infographic covers poison control center calls about children and teens exposed to opioid medications.
Download a print version of the infographic
Opioid Medication: A Risk for Children and Teens
How often are children and teens exposed to opioid medication?
Each year, opioid medication poisoning causes more than 300 deaths in children and teens (1)
Every 45 minutes, poison control centers get a call about children and teens exposed to opioid medication (2)
About 1 in 10 of these cases are admitted to health care facilities (3)
What ages of children and teens are most at risk? (3)
Young children (ages 5 and younger) account for 60% of these calls
Most cases (86%) are unintentional, like when a child finds pills that are within reach
Teenagers (ages 13 through 19) account for 30% of the calls
Most cases (72%) are intentional, like when a teen takes their parents’ medication
How do I keep my kids safe?
96% of these poisonings happen at home (3)
- Store medications locked up and out of sight
- Keep track of medications, so you know if any go missing
- Get rid of old, unwanted medications safely
- Talk to your teen about medication abuse
Poison Control is available 24/7: 1-800-222-1222
- National Center for Health Statistics Multiple Cause of Death database. (2015).
- Naqvi, J. (2017, March 20). Poison control centers receive 32 calls a day about children exposed to opioids. The Washington Post. Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/03/20/poison-control-centers-receive-32-calls-a-day-about-children-exposed-to-opioids/?utm_term=.3838499ac1d0
- Allen, J. D., Casavant, M. J., Spiller, H. A., Chounthirath, T., Hodges, N. L., & Smith, G. A. (2017). Prescription Opioid Exposures Among Children and Adolescents in the United States: 2000–2015. Pediatrics. 139(4). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2016-3382