By Barbara Edmonson

As the school year ends and summer approaches, thousands of youth sustain injuries from bike accidents, sports and just common injuries that can occur at any time. 

Two primary concerns are camping and sports injuries.  Youth at summer camp can sustain injuries from participating in various activities and events.  Injuries can also be sustained during sports and school participation.  These injuries include cuts, scratches and broken bones and often require medical assistance, such as pain medication.  Depending on how severe the injury, strong medications may be prescribed to alleviate pain.  Medications often include opioids, such as Percosets, Vicodin, Oxycontin– to list a few.  Many teens believe that prescription drugs are safe because they are prescribed by doctors.  However, these medications often lead to addiction, if abused or not taken as directed.  The dangers of addiction from opioids can lead to severe consequences.  Studies show that many teens are accessing prescription drugs from their home medicine cabinet.

Here are some tips for parents & guardians to keep your child safe when prescribed medications:

  1. Ask your doctor about alternatives to your child taking these strong medications.
  2. Make sure your child takes the medication as prescribed by the doctor.
  3. Monitor your child’s medication. Keep it securely stored in a locked cabinet.
  4. Properly discard unused or expired medication (local police departments have 24/7 kiosk within their department for disposal). Find an authorized collector in your area
  5. Talk with your children about the dangers of prescription drug use and abuse. Get Tips Here. 

For additional information on sports injuries contact the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association at 1-508-541-7997

For information on medications that can be abused contact the Massachusetts Substance Abuse and Education helpline at 1-800-327-5050 (TTY 1-888-448-8321)