As a parent, you want your kids to have fun and explore their surroundings. One of the things you can do to ensure their safety while doing this is to make sure all of your medicines and vitamins are stored safely. Safe Kids Worldwide is a nonprofit organization working to help families and communities keep kids safe from injuries, and they have developed the following information on how to keep kids safe from finding and accessing potentially harmful medicines.
Facts about medication safety
- In 2017, nearly 52,000 children under the age of six were seen in an emergency room for medicine poisoning. That’s one child every ten minutes.
- Medicines are the leading cause of child poisoning.
- In 86 percent of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, a child got into medicine belonging to a parent or grandparent.
Top tips about medication safety
- Keep medicine up and away, out of reach and sight of children, even medicine you take every day. Kids are naturally curious and can easily get into things, like medicine, if they are kept in places within their reach. Put all medicines and vitamins at or above counter height where kids can’t reach or see them.
- Consider places where kids get into medicine. Children often find medicine kept in purses or on counters and nightstands. Place bags and briefcases on high shelves or hang them on hooks, out of children’s reach and sight.
- Remember products you might not think about as medicine. Health products such as vitamins, diaper rash creams, and even eye drops can be harmful if kids get into them. Store these items out of reach and sight of children, just as you would over-the-counter and prescription medicines.
- Give medicine safely to children. Use only the dosing device that comes with liquid medicine, not a kitchen spoon. When other caregivers are giving your child medicine, write clear instructions about what medicine to give, how much to give, and when to give it. Using a medicine schedule can help with communication between caregivers.
- Save the Poison Control number in your phone and post it visibly at home: 1 (800) 222-1222. Specialists at poison control centers provide free, confidential, expert medical advice 24 hours a day. They can answer questions about how to give or take medicine and help with poison emergencies. (You should never have to feel embarrassed about asking any questions about medicine.)
- Share medicine safety information with family and friends. Teach other caregivers such as family members, babysitters, and friends about medicine safety and make sure they know the Poison Control number.
Medicines are commonly found in the home, so it is important to follow these medicine safety tips. Here is some additional information from Safe Kids Worldwide on how to store medicine safely, how to give medicine safely, how to get rid of medicine safely, and how to talk to your kids about medicine safety.
In addition, download this Medicine Safety Checklist created by Safe Kids Worldwide, with support from Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. It provides tips for parents of kids ages 0 to 11 and for parents of kids ages 11 and older.
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Content source: Safe Kids Worldwide
The content on our website is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.