Tweens Get Failing Grade In Their Knowledge On Safe Use Of Over The Counter Medications

Results from two recent national surveys indicate a significant knowledge gap in OTC medicine safety by tweens across the U.S.

When testing tweens' knowledge about the safe use of OTC medicines, they got a failing grade:

  • Tweens answered just 37 percent of questions correctly when asked how to use OTC medicines responsibly.
    • Only about half, or 54 percent, of tweens surveyed know OTC medicine can be dangerous when misused.
    • On the flip side, parents tend to overestimate their tween's knowledge, believing their tweens know who to ask if they have a question about medicine (75 percent), whether or not it's OK to share OTC medicine with friends (73 percent) and the risks of not using OTC medicines as directed (68 percent).
  • When asked about the differences between prescription and OTC medicines, tweens answered just 56 percent of questions correctly.
    • 67 percent of tweens surveyed incorrectly believe they can use someone else's prescription medicines if he or she has the same symptoms.
    • Parent assumptions of tween knowledge was similar to tween test results, with 58 percent believing their tween would understand the difference between prescription and OTC medicines.
  • When tested on how to read a Drug Facts label correctly, tweens only answered 53 percent of the questions correctly.
    • Just 31 percent of tweens surveyed know it is not safe to take more medicine than what is directed on the label.
    • And 50 percent of parents admit they don't believe their tween knows how to read a Drug Facts label on an OTC medicine.
  • Tweens correctly answered only 49 percent of questions relating to safe storage of medicines.
    • 52 percent of parents surveyed admit they don't believe their tween knows how to safely store medicines.
FOR HELPFUL INFO for TEACHERS AND PARENTS
on teaching tweens about safe use of OTC's
VISIT www.scholastic.com/OTCliteracy/parents External Icon
Info in English and Spanish