For many years McNeil Consumer Healthcare has been a supporter of LifeSmarts. As one of our longest-standing partners, McNeil Consumer Healthcare has helped develop lessons and content on medication safety. Thanks to McNeil Consumer Healthcare’s expanded sponsorship, LifeSmarts will develop a community service project to enlist high school students to educate their 5th and 6th grade counterparts.
“The hope of McNeil Consumer Healthcare is that the new LifeSmarts OTC Medicine Safety Mentoring Project will instill in teens and tweens a healthy respect for all medicines by teaching core concepts on the responsible use and safe storage of medicines,” said Kristin Recchiuti, Senior Director, Scientific Education & Patient Advocacy, Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc., McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division.
Reaching 125,000 teens a year in 42 states and the District of Columbia, the LifeSmarts program has a powerful impact on the health and safety of America’s youth. Similar to other life skills such as budgeting to teach fiscal responsibility, early education about medicine safety can build a generation of smart consumers who have a healthy respect for medicines. “In doing so, we are building a healthier future for our adolescents, and helping to prevent medicine misuse, errors, and adverse events,” said Recchiuti.
According to research, children begin to self-medicate as early as the age of 11. Unfortunately, when not equipped with the knowledge and training to make safe choices, adolescents may end up doing more harm than good. In fact, there are more than 10,000 emergency room visits each year due to medicine overdose that results from adolescents self-administering OTC medicines.
“It’s exciting to work with a partner like McNeil Consumer Healthcare, with whom we share core issues and a mission to educate teens to make smart and informed choices about their health,” said LifeSmarts Program Director Lisa Hertzberg. “McNeil has been a strong LifeSmarts partner for many years, and we’re excited to see the partnership grow.”