Medicines are meant to help you feel better. They can also help treat a medical condition. However, if medicines are not taken exactly the right way, they can be harmful. This is especially true for children.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 60,000 young children go to the emergency room each year for ingesting medications while their parents or caregivers weren’t looking. That’s why it’s so important to keep your children from reaching for their medications.
The road to better safety
The best way to ensure your child’s safety is to keep all medications out of your child’s reach and sight, and that they have a child proof cap. This includes prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and vitamins. There are other things you can do. The following tips will help you childproof your medicines and keep your child safe.
Choose a place that your children cannot reach.
Find a place in your home that is too high for your child to reach or see. Walk around your home and decide on the safest place to keep your medicines and vitamins. Remember that some children can climb. They may use the toilet or furniture to reach high places. Therefore, locked cabinets are the safest place to store your medicines and vitamins.
Always put medicines and vitamins away after use.
Always put medicines and vitamins away each time you use them. This includes medicines and vitamins that you use every day. Never leave them on the kitchen counter or at a sick child’s bedside. You may need to give your child medicine again in a few hours, but even then, put the medicine away after you use it. Don’t leave it out for convenience.
Teach your child about medication safety.
Tell your child what a medicine is. Explain that you must be the one to give medicine to your child. Don’t tell your child that the medicine is candy or tastes like candy to get him or her to take it. Don’t let your child play doctor with empty medicine bottles or without a child proof cap.
Tell your guests about medication safety.
Ask guests and visitors to put purses, bags or coats containing medications up high or put them away. Ask them to keep medications out of sight when they are in your home. Also be sure to keep your purse, bag or coat with medications stored in a safe place away from your child.
Listen for the click to make sure the safety cap is closed.
Always use the safety caps that come with the medicines. Be sure to reseal the safety cap on the medicine container after use. If the medicine has a twist-on cap, turn it until you hear it click. However, remember that even though many medicines and vitamins come with safety caps, children can still open them.Always keep your medicines and vitamins safely stored in a place where your children can’t reach or see them, and with the security of a child proof cap.