Eva Chinchilla, a sixth grader at Jefferson Elementary School in Charleston, designed an eye-catching poster stressing the importance of reading medicine labels carefully.
Her drawing was selected as the winner of a Sarah Bush Lincoln Body Electric poster contest to encourage students and their families to learn the facts about the safe use of medicine. The contest was open to fifth and sixth grade students at Jefferson Elementary School and was coordinated with the assistance of art teacher Penny Hess.
According to the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), many children start to self-medicate around the age of 11 or 12. By the time teens reach age 16, approximately 90 percent of them have taken over-the-counter medicine without adult supervision. “Our advisory council became interested in promoting medicine safety when we learned that nationally an estimated 58,546 emergency department visits were caused by adolescents self-administering medicines, and one-third of these visits resulted from an overdose of over-the-counter medicines,” Julie Meinhart, Body Electric program coordinator, said.
Safe use of prescription and over-the-counter medicine is a serious issue. It is important to follow directions, know the dose, store medicine safety and know the ingredients of the medicine you are taking. Derek Stout, DO, SBL Emergency Department physician and member of the Body Electric advisory council said, “In the Emergency Department we deal with intentional and accidental overdoses frequently. It is of paramount importance that everyone understands the importance of medicine safety and what to do when medication accidents happen. This starts with our children with hopes that the knowledge will follow them throughout their life.”
With her winning entry, Chinchilla showed a simple, yet effective, message to “Read Medicine Labels Carefully.” The winning poster, selected by the Body Electric advisory council, will be featured on billboards along Rt. 16 in the Charleston area. “All of the entries were spectacular and it was very difficult to pick a winner,” Dr. Stout said. “I thought that this was a successful project and congratulations not only to Eva, our winner, but to everyone that participated!”
Body Electric is a Sarah Bush Lincoln program that uses the arts to communicate healthy lifestyle choices among youth. For more information about Body Electric, visit www.sarahbush.org/bodyelectric or call 888-550-7464.