Australian Children Learn about Medicine. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 013 (1992)
(1992; 1 page)


Certain health problems in Australia have been linked to inappropriate use of medicines. Studies have shown that 15% of patients in Australia were admitted to hospitals for analgesic-induced liver failure and that 15-25% of older patients were admitted because of misused medicines. The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia believes that the adults of tomorrow must acquire appropriate drug use beliefs and patterns of behavior as soon in life as possible to prevent this pattern of medical misuse from continuing. This belief led to the development of the Tay-Kair kit – a cartoon-based approach to teaching children about medicines. The kits are intended for 11-12 year olds and are designed to introduce children to how medicines work in the body and how to use them responsibly. The kits will be used in schools in a cross-curriculum approach consisting of 11 core lessons and enrichment activities. Parents are informed about the kits and are given “homework assignments” that can be completed with their children to reinforce the concepts learned in school. The kits were piloted in schools in Queensland, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, and South Australia and have been cleared for use in schools throughout the country. The next step for the kits is an independent evaluation to determine the effectiveness of the kits. (Abstract by Flannery Bowman, 2013)

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