The American Association of Poison Control Centers and Scholastic Expand Collaboration to Educate Tweens on Over-the-Counter

The American Association of Poison Control Centers and Scholastic Expand 
Collaboration to Educate Tweens on Over-the-Counter Medicine
OTC Literacy Program Expanded to Educate Tweens and Further Avoid
10,000 Emergency Department Visits That Occur Each Year From Dosing
Errors by Self-Medicating Tweens 
NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 11/04/13 --  The American
Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), together with
Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global children's publishing,
education and media company, are continuing their commitment to help
educate "tweens" on the safe use of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines
with their expanded OTC Literacy classroom program. Research shows
that tweens begin to self-administer medicine around 11 years old, or
around 5th or 6th grade. With cold and flu season in full swing, it
is a good time for parents and guardians of tweens to teach their
children about OTC medicine safety.  
The OTC Literacy program, which launched earlier this year in schools
nationwide, now includes new resources and engaging educational
activities specifically designed for parents and teachers of tweens
to increase knowledge of OTC safety and responsible use. Education
about OTC medications, such as how to read a Drug Facts label, is
critical -- giving tweens the knowledge they need to become
responsible adults who follow label instructions for OTC medications.
The program places special emphasis on the message that tweens should
only take OTC medications with the permission and supervision of
parents or guardians. Educators and parents can also download all of
the materials online at 
"It's important for tweens to learn about OTC medication safety,
including how to read directions, follow dosing guidelines, properly
measure medication, store medications out of reach of younger
siblings and to always consult a parent or trusted adult prior to
taking any medication," says Tanya Altmann, M.D., F.A.A.P., a
pediatrician and child health expert trained at the University of
California, Los Angeles who is facilitating dialogue with parents
about the need for more awareness regarding OTC Literacy among
tweens. "Tweens also must understand that OTC medication is often
helpful when taken at appropriate doses, but can be extremely
dangerous if taken incorrectly, in excess or too often." 
The OTC Literacy program features new resources that are specifically
designed to help facilitate conversations and provide learning
opportunities for tweens. These materials include: an illustrated
digital story, a digital student assessment quiz, a "Home Hazards
Hunt" flash game and many other tools that can be used at home or in
the classroom. Most of the family resources and tools are available
in both English and Spanish. 
Parents play a critical role in helping their tweens learn about the
responsible use of OTC medicines. With approximately 10,000 children
seen in emergency departments every year due to medication errors
from the self-medication of OTCs, it is important for parents and
guardians to discuss the safe use and storage of OTC medicines with
their tweens. The OTC Literacy program equips parents, teachers and
guardians with the necessary materials to help facilitate these
critical discussions.  
"The engaging, multi-media instructional materials in the OTC
Literacy program help teachers and families increase children's
understand of medicine safety in real-world situations while building
students' reading comprehension skills and academic vocabulary,"
shares Ann Amstutz Hayes, Senior Vice President, National
Partnerships, Scholastic. "We are pleased to provide this free
educational program to teachers and families who might otherwise not
have access to this important information." 
Please visit for supportive
tips on how to discuss OTC Literacy.  
 The AAPCC promotes the nation's 57 poison centers and
supports their efforts to prevent and treat poison exposures. Poison
centers offer free, confidential medical advice 24 hours a day, seven
days a week through the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222. This
service provides a primary resource for poisoning information and
helps reduce costly emergency department visits through in-home
treatment. To learn more, visit, like us on Facebook,
follow us on Twitter, or read our blog at To
join your voice with other poison center supporters, register for the
AAPCC advocacy network at -- click on "Action
About Scholastic
 Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the
world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books and a
leader in educational technology and related services and children's
media. Scholastic creates quality books and ebooks, print and
technology-based learning materials and programs, magazines,
multi-media and other products that help children learn both at
school and at home. The Company distributes its products and services
worldwide through a variety of channels, including school-based book
clubs and book fairs, retail stores, schools, libraries, on-air, and
online at 
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Media Contact: 
Jayme Owen
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