Before our granddaughter came to live with us we had to take a close look at how we stored things to make it convenient for us. I mean, being a middle aged couple with no kids in the house for years we stored cleaning supplies under the sink, air fresheners and some sprays in the linen closet and my weekly medication container was on the kitchen table while the full bottles were in a covered tub under my desk. None of this is safe for a kid.
In thinking of things we needed to do I was reminded of times people thought they were teaching their kids properly about medication and I must say my mom was one of those people. I remember when I was little I was always taught the dangers of taking things that my parents didn’t give me. The dangers of sneaking things I shouldn’t and I was a pretty good kid BUT one time I didn’t heed my mom’s warnings. I was about 4 or 5 and we were at my aunts and I saw a pretty piece of blue candy on the edge of the kitchen table. It was shiny (candy coating) and just calling to me so when nobody was looking I reached up, snatched and stuck it in my mouth. I was sucking the candy coating when my aunt noticed her pill missing. That’s when I knew that I didn’t have candy in my mouth and started crying. Luckily the pill didn’t go any further than the inside of my mouth and the coating protected it from dissolving and possibly harming me but what if I had chewed it, or what if it had dissolved and absorbed into my system.
Fast forward about 20 years to a nephew. He was on meds for ADHD and his parents put them up in a cabinet in the kitchen. One day they found out he took it upon himself to take another pill and his reason was “I was being bad”. So, he knew what the medication was for but thought it was OK for him to take it on his own. They had to quickly think of a different place to put the medication and it needed to be a place that he could not get into.
I know someone else that tells her kids they’re getting candy whenever she gives them medication. Don’t lie to a kid and let them think that all medication is sugar plums and OK to consume whenever they want.
Accidental medication poisonings happen all the time. On March 20th Safe Kids Worldwide® released a new research report that found kids are getting into medicine at an alarming rate. Every minute of every day, a poison control center receives a call about potential medicine poisoning for a child age five and under. And 67,000 times each year, or every eight minutes, a young child goes to the emergency room for medicine poisoning. This is a 30 percent increase over the past ten years.
Medication Safety – Don’t Let Your Guard Down
Parents know to store medicine where kids can’t reach them, yet 500,000 times each year a child gets into medicine or gets the wrong dose. And every eight minutes, a child is treated in an emergency room for accidental medicine poisoning.
Although we know that medicine should be stored up and away, children are still getting into medicine at an alarming rate. Why? Often, medicine poisoning involves a medicine that we aren’t really thinking about as medicine, such as vitamins, diaper rash remedies or eye drops. Or children get into medicine that was left within sight or reach – pills in purses, adult medicine kept on counters or children’s medicine left out for the next dose.
To keep your children safe, here are some tips from Safe Kids Worldwide. Share them with visitors and with those who care for your child outside of their home to ensure your child is safe both inside and outside of the home.
Put medicines up and away and out of sight.
- Make sure that all medications, including vitamins and adult medicines, are stored out of reach and out of sight of children. In 86% of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the child got into medicine belonging to an adult.
Consider products you might not think about as medicines.
- Most parents know to store medicine up and away – or at least the products they consider to be medicine. But they don’t always think about products such as eye drops or vitamins, which may not seem like medicine but actually are. Look around your home to see what products are within the reach of children and may be harmful, then move them up and away.
Be alert to visitors’ medicine.
- When you have visitors in your home, offer to put purses, bags and coats out of reach of children to protect their property from a curious child. Well meaning visitors may not be thinking about the medicines that they have brought with them in their belongings. In 43% of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the child got into medicine belonging to a relative, such as an aunt, uncle or grandparent.
Put medicines up and away after EVERY use.
- It may be tempting to keep medicine close at hand when you need to give another dose of medicine in just a few hours. Accidents can happen fast. It only takes a few seconds for children to get into medicine that could make them very sick. Put medicine up and away after every use. And if you need a reminder, set an alarm on your watch or cell phone, or write yourself a note.
Read the label and know what’s in the medicine.
- Take the time to read the label and follow the directions on your child’s medicine. Check the active ingredients listed on the label. Don’t give your child more than one medicine with the same active ingredient. Giving your child two or medicines that have the same active ingredient can put your child at risk for an overdose.
Put the Poison Control number in your home and cell phone: 1-800-222-1222.
- You can also put the number on your refrigerator or another place in your home where babysitters can see it.
I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Safe Kids Worldwide and I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation