Is Narcan safe for kids? Breaking down what parents need to know

Experts say accidental overdoses can occur in children

ROANOKE, Va. – No parent wants to think about their child overdosing on opioids, but Clinical Pharmacy Specialist for Carilion Thomas Schmitt said it’s something we all need to be ready for.

“Children perhaps get into medication thinking it was candy, medication laying around maybe not even knowing what it is — we have had instances of, potentially, friends sharing medication thinking it was Tylenol or Ibuprofen, or maybe it was something we got from our parents or grandparents cabinets,” Schmitt said.

10 News sat down with him to go over how to use Naloxone, or Narcan in case of an emergency.

Schmitt said a common misconception is that you can’t use Narcan on children, but that’s not the case.

“It’s safe for patients of all ages, so it’s safe for children, elderly patients and it’s even safe to use in animals,” he said.

He said it should be second nature to grab in case of an accident.

“We think of this as an emergency response medication. It’s the same in some ways as an epi-pen, epinephrine,” he said.

He said overdose is common in the Roanoke Valley, and sometimes, even children need Narcan.

“Narcan is not just for patients who are experiencing an addiction or have a reliance on a certain medication — Narcan is for anybody experiencing an overdose related to opioids,” he said.

Schmitt said reducing the stigma around carrying Narcan and keeping it stocked in schools or public places can reduce deaths.

“We treat patients and we treat conditions. So we do what we can to reduce stigma around this issue — having Narcan on hold for personal use, or for the use of a friend or a loved one a stranger I think that’s just so important.”

If you do use Narcan on someone, you have to call 911 too — the effects do wear off, and you’ll need to make sure there’s a medical expert on hand.

To see where you can find it right here in the Roanoke Valley, click here.

About the Author

Abbie Coleman officially joined the WSLS 10 News team in January 2023.

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