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I think prescription medicines probably save more lives than tiny magnetic desk toys, but I don't have the stats handy to prove that.



Do you think I am making a case against prescription medication? Have I failed to communicate that thoroughly?

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Maybe? I'm honestly not sure what your thesis is.

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In the same way that magnetic toys are a novelty that can cause injury or death to young children, vitamins that look like candy (but is treated like prescription medication: packaged the same and stored in the same place. Treated with the same paranoia by parents.) and candy that looks like prescription medication (think: tick-tacks) cause harm. Specifically they cause harm by contributing to confusion between candy and medication among children.

This is not a concern I have invented: http://www.ncpoisoncenter.org/body.cfm?id=115 http://voices.yahoo.com/separating-candy-medicine-prevent-me...

They specifically call out parents calling medication "candy". This is apparently something that parents do with enough frequency to warrant calling out. As far as I am concerned, candy-like vitamin supplements are no better.

I would suggest that prescription medication manufactures stop making medicine in bright colors and fun shapes, however I suspect the harm done by such a suggestion in the form of accidental adult poisonings would outweigh the benefits.

I would therefore argue, were I inclined to, that candy and vitamin companies should modify their products. I would not advocate prescription medication companies altering anything.

So my thesis: confusion between medication and candy kills thousands of children every year. There are trivial things we can go after in an attempt to curb this phenomenon (to repeat: tell vitamin and candy companies to knock it off). Nobody is calling for these trivial measures, even though they seem greatly concerned about a problem with much smaller magnitude. The reason for this incongruity is that candies and vitamins are familiar, while magnet toys are new and striking.

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