tips to keep your children safe from medication poisoning
We all know kids have curious minds. Typically they want what they can’t have. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, a child under the age of six goes to the emergency department every nine minutes due to getting in medicine. Every hour a child is hospitalized due to getting into medicine and every 12 days a child dies due to accidentally taking medicine they shouldn’t have. Medicine should be kept up high and out of sight of children.
Often when children are brought to the emergency department for medicine poisonings, parents says that they only looked away for a minute. And unfortunately, one minute is all it takes for kiddos to get into something they shouldn’t.
As a parent it’s important to know and practice safe medicine storage. Here some tips to remember:
- Child-resistant does not mean childproof. A lot of parents think “child-resistant” means a child won’t be able to get into the medicine. But, research suggests that about half of accidental medicine poisonings involved children getting into child-resistant packaging. While it might delay a child from getting into the medicine, it is not a 100 percent guarantee that they don’t get into the medicine. There is no substitution to keeping medicine out of reach and out of sight.
- 48 percent of children get into grandparents medicine. 67 percent of grandparents live with or within 50 miles of at least one grandchild. Typically grandparents take more medications which means there is a higher chance of your child getting into something they shouldn’t. It’s important to make sure that grandma and grandpa know to keep their medicines up and away too.
- Kids are curious climbers. Research suggests that about half of over-the-counter (OTC) poisoning cases, the child climbed on a chair, toy or other object to reach the medicine. A lot of parents report storing medicine within a child’s sight. To be safe, medicine should be stored out of reach (above counter height) and out of sight (like high in a cabinet) at all times. You can even store them in a cabinet with a safety lock for extra protection.
- The Poison Help line is 1-800-222-1222. Store this number in your phone or in an easily accessible place just in case you need it. Hopefully you won’t need it but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“Storing medicine out of children’s reach and sight can make such a difference in keeping kids safe,” says Abbey Rymarczyk, Prevention Coordinator at Dayton Children’s and Safe Kids Greater Dayton Coordinator. “We want to help parents become the expert in protecting their children. And it only takes a few minutes to save the Poison Help Line – 1-800-222-1222 – in your phone so you’ll have access to their free, 24/7 service in case of an emergency.”