More than 60,000 young children end up in emergency rooms every year because they got into medicine while their parent or caregiver was not looking. Children are curious; to keep them safe, parents and caregivers must practice safe medicine storage.
- Pick a place children cannot reach. Store medicines in a safe location too high for children to reach or see.
- Put medicines and vitamins away every time. Never leave medicines or vitamins out on a kitchen counter or at a sick child’s bedside, even if you have to give the medicine again in a few hours.
- Hear the click to make sure the safety cap is locked. Always relock the safety cap on a medicine bottle. If it has a locking cap that turns, twist it until you hear the click.
Parents and caregivers need to know the steps necessary to make sure medicines are safely stored, and most importantly, what to do in case of an emergency.
Be prepared in case of an emergency. Program the poison control center number, 1-800-222-1222, into home and cell phones so you have it when you need it.
In recent years, the number of accidental overdoses in children increased by 20 percent. To help keep children safe through proper medicine storage, "Up and Away and Out of Sight" educates parents and caregivers by providing them with information to store medicine safely and protect the health of their children. In addition to practicing safe medicine storage on a daily basis, it is also important to:
- Teach children about medicine safety. Tell children what medicine is and why you must be the one to give it to them. Never tell children medicine is candy so they’ll take it, even if your child does not like to take his or her medicine.
- Tell guests about medicine safety. Remind babysitters, house guests, and other visitors to keep purses, bags, or coats that have medicines in them up and away and out of sight when they are at your home.
To learn more, visit upandaway.org.
Call for help
Remember, if you suspect that you or someone you know has been poisoned, immediately call the toll-free Poison Help line (1-800-222-1222), which connects you to your local poison center.