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(Reprinted from the Nebraska Regional Poison Center)

What’s In Your Backpack? Lunch Box?  Sports Bag?


Greater than 50% of the calls to the Nebraska Regional Poison Center involve medications. 

Every year the poison center gets calls from schools and daycare centers where medication is found on the floor, in diaper bags, and with students sharing medications. 


Putting your child’s medication in a lunch box, sports bag or backpack results in loss of control over how that medication will be used.  It puts your child and the other school children at risk.  It is important for parents to become familiar with and follow their child’s school medication policy. 


Parents should also:


  • Keep all medications stored in their original container.  Never mix medications into other containers, as this makes identifying medications very difficult in case of an emergency.


  • Talk to your child about the school’s medication policy.


  • Tell children that even though medications may make one child feel better, they can make another child very ill.  Also, make them aware that taking more medication than directed on the bottle will not make their child feel better quicker and instead can make them sicker.


  • Make teenagers aware that taking over-the-counter pain relievers in amounts larger than prescribed can be very dangerous.


Sports bags may contain asthma inhalers and sports cream.  Asthma inhalers should never be shared with other people.  Taking too much of these medications can cause flushed skin, tremors, dizziness and heart problems.  Sports creams contain ingredients that can be dangerous if ingested or rubbed into the eye.


The Nebraska Regional Poison Center offers tips on poison prevention as a free community service.  For more information, contacttheNebraska Regional Poison Center by calling (402) 955-5555 in the Omaha metropolitan area or toll-free at 1-800-222-1222.

The Nebraska Regional Poison Center is sponsored by The Nebraska Medical Center, Creighton University Medical Center, and University of Nebraska Medical Center.


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