November 2012…Thanks to a grant from The American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation, Healthy NewsWorks student journalists will be reporting about what prescription drugs are and how to use them safely.
Healthy NewsWorks is working with its partner schools to increase children’s understanding of the benefits of taking medicines properly and the risks associated with misuse of drugs.
Prescription drug safety education is also essential because more than 71,000 children are seen in emergency rooms in the United States each year for unintentional overdoses of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
“Promoting and establishing healthy behaviors for younger people is more effective, and often easier, than efforts to change unhealthy behaviors already established in adults,” according to the AMA Foundation.
Student reporters will gather facts about medicine safety issues by conducting press conferences, interviewing health experts, and researching print and web resources. They will publish stories in their school papers and on the Healthy NewsWorks website.
Several Healthy NewsWorks newspaper staffs also plan to create public service announcements and sponsor poster contests to produce original artwork that addresses medicine safety.
Community events will feature guest speakers who will discuss the role parents and the community play in keeping prescription drugs out of the reach of youth. These events will be open to all students, school faculty, parents and community members.