This is heartbreaking.
NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos is one of the men who was murdered on Saturday in Brooklyn, and he sadly left behind his 13-year-old son Jaden Ramos.
Following the horrible shooting, Jaden posted a message to his Facebook, saying:
Nobody brings their child to an emergency room unless something serious has possibly happened, but parents may be unaware of another danger lurking at the hospitals themselves!
Up to 870,000 prescriptions of codeine are given to children in emergency rooms each year, and yet many seem to be OK with this despite the drug's powerful effects it can have on children.
Plus that's the same stuff that goes into purple drank (this specific type was just pulled from shelves), a favorite way to get sideways among rappers.
In fact, in 1997, the American Academy of Pediatrics published public guidelines that warned against using it on children, and yet it is still prescribed regularly.
The trickiest part of prescribing this drug to children is the different way they react to it. Some don't metabolize it enough, and need more of the codeine — while others metabolize it too quickly which could lead to a possible fatal overdose!
Here's what the director of the Pediatric Environmental Health Center at Boston Children's Hospital Dr. Alan Woolf said:
"Codeine is notorious for rashes, hives, vomiting in kids, and constipation. You can be allergic to it. Codeine's been around a long time. You know, just like many other drugs, there's complacency about it. Because it has such name value, people assume it's safe. … And I don't think a lot of practitioners, and a lot of (the) public, makes the connection between codeine and narcotic."
This is definitely an issue that still affect families today as more than 1.7 million codeine prescriptions were given to kids who are under 18 in 2011.
There are alternatives to codeine, and one way parents can cut out codeine from their kids' lives is by educating themselves about this issue.
Another suggestion by Dr. Alan Woolf is for "other hospital therapy committees to consider whether they need codeine in their formularies".
Lets make sure our kids are getting healthy the RIGHT way instead of the ACCEPTED way!