National Poison Prevention Week, March 16-22, 2014Medical advances have allowed researchers to develop a wide variety of medications designed to help keep us healthy. All medications, however, can be harmful if not taken as recommended. More than 67,000 children are seen each year in an emergency department in the U.S. for a medication exposure, which includes children taking medication while unsupervised and dosing errors. National Poison Prevention Week highlights how to properly store, use, and dispose of medications in your home.
You don’t have to toss out all of your medications to keep your kids safe—just follow these tips.
- Choose a place that is too high for children to reach or see, and consider using a lock to make sure children cannot access medications.
- Check the cap on each medication to be sure it is one that is designed to keep a young child from easily opening it and that it is closed tightly.
- Put medications away immediately after every use.
- Never leave easy-access containers, such as daily pill boxes, within a child’s reach.
- Check the medication’s or your doctor’s instructions for the right dose for your child.
- Use the measuring device, such as a dosing cup or oral syringe, that comes with the medicine or ask a pharmacist to recommend one.
- Teach your child to only take medication with help from an adult.
- Know the phone number for poison control: 1-800-222-1222
- Check the expiration date before using medications.
- Dispose of expired or unneeded medications according to any specific instructions on the label. Do not flush medicines down a sink or toilet unless instructed. Check with your local government’s trash and recycling services to see if a medication take-back program is available in your area.
Blog post provided by Prevent Child Injury