Keeping Kids Away from Medicines
Medications help us to control symptoms and treat diseases. When prescribed by a doctor, they can be very helpful for our health. However, having these medicines in the house can also present risks, especially for children. When ingested, they can cause serious poisoning. Unfortunately, this isn’t uncommon since children love to explore.
Keeping kids away from medicines can be tough. In fact, more than 300 children in the United States, up to age 19, are treated in an emergency department each year as a result of being poisoned. Statistically, two of those children die.
Luckily, there are some preventative measures you can take that will help you to avoid tragedy in your home. At Child Safety Store, we want to help you to navigate these steps toward safety. Here are some actions you can take to keep kids from your medicines.
Put Medicines Away After Every Use
It sounds simple enough, but putting your medicine away after you use it is one of the biggest steps you can take in keeping it away from children. Put pills and drugs in a designated spot rather than leave them on your counter or nightstand. It can be tempting to leave these bottles out, especially if you need to reuse them every several hours, however kids often do gain access to items that you may believe to be out of their reach.
Store Medicines Properly
When putting your medicines away after you use them, placing them out of sight is best. First, for an added layer of protection, make sure the safety cap is secure. Then, pick a place to store the bottles where your children cannot see or reach. This applies to prescription drugs as well as over-the counter medicines, herbal supplements and daily vitamins. The best place to store these items is often in a high cabinet. We’ve discussed cabinet safety on this blog in the past, including various recommended products that will securely lock up your medicines, such as a magnet lock or a swivel lock.
Remind Guests to Mind Their Medicines
Keeping medicines and pills away from your children may not be top of mind for your guests. However, kids can easily get to medications that are in someone’s purse or coat. Even if it feels awkward, remind your guests to keep their personal items, including any legal or illegal drugs, out of reach of children. It can mean the difference between life and death.
Be Prepared for an Emergency
In case of an emergency, always keep the number for the Poison Control Center near the telephone, and save the number in your cell phone: 800-222-1222. Make sure that you, other caregivers in the house, and any babysitters all know where to find emergency contact numbers. Call this emergency number immediately if you think your child may have ingested a medication. If the child has collapsed or stopped breathing, call 911 instead.
Safe Disposal of Medicines
If you don’t need the medicines that are in your home, or they are expired, get rid of them. To safely dispose of these medicines, mix them with coffee grounds or kitty litter and throw them away. You can also choose to take part in one of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s “Take Back Days,” when temporary collection sites are set up in communities nationwide.