Medicines are meant to help make you feel better. They also can help treat a medical condition. But if medicines aren’t taken exactly the right way, they can be harmful. This includes both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and vitamins. This is especially boils down to child medication safety.
When it comes safety of a child around medication, parents and caregivers are the first line of defense. But while most parents claim they know how important it is to keep medicines out of reach and sight of children, they are not always doing so. Sometimes parents think child-resistant packaging is childproof. Still other parents aren’t always sure what “out of reach and sight” really means.
Keeping prescriptions safe goes beyond the traditional baby proofing. Be sure to store drugs away from preteens and teenagers. Because, they might look for medicines to experiment with or abuse. Even if you don’t have children, think about proper storage of your medicines before family members or friends with kids come to visit.
Child medication safety tips and guidelines at home
Store medicine up and away, out of children’s reach and sight every time.
Store medicine and vitamins in a cabinet where children can’t see them and out of reach, above counter height. Walk around your house and decide on the safest place to keep your medicines and vitamins. Remember that some children can climb. They may use the toilet or counter-tops to reach high places. So locked cabinets are the safest place to keep your medicines and vitamins.
Store medicines in their original containers with childproof caps
Close your medicine caps tightly after every use. But also, remember child-resistant packaging is not childproof. So put medicine away immediately after every use. Even if you need to give another dose in a few hours.
Use a reminder for medicines
Instead of keeping medicine handy, use safe reminder tools to help you remember when to take and give doses. Set an alarm on your watch or cell phone. You can also write a note to yourself and leave it somewhere you look often, like on the refrigerator door. Moreover, you can combine taking daily medicines with a daily task like brushing your teeth.
Always call it medicine
You don’t want children to think of medicine as candy. This can tempt them to try to ingest potentially dangerous prescriptions. Call it medicine and indicate it to your children that it should only be taken when they’re sick. Moreover, it should be according to the doctor or pharmacist’s instructions. Make sure your kids know that medicine can be harmful if it’s taken when they’re not sick or if they take too much.
Be alert to visitors’ medicine
Guests in your home may not be thinking about the medicine they brought with them in their belongings. When you have guests in your home, offer to put purses, bags and coats out of reach of children to protect their property from a curious child.
Get rid of unused medicines
If there’s no expiration date, get rid of any medicine that’s six months old or older. Many communities have medicine take-back days. This allows you to get rid of old medicines. Contact your local pharmacist. You can also search online for a disposal location near you.
Besides, you can throw most medicines into the trash. Mix them with something people and animals won’t eat, like coffee grounds, sawdust, or kitty litter; then pour the mixture into a small, seal-able bag. Dispose in the outside trash. Don’t crush the pills, and remove the prescription labels.
Communicate to Caregivers
Write clear instructions for caregivers about your child’s medicine. When other caregivers are giving your child medicine, they need to know what medicine to give, how much to give and when to give it.
Know the Poison Control Center’s phone number
No matter how hard you work at keeping medicines away from kids, accidents can happen so be prepared. Memorize the national Poison Control Center’s number, display it prominently on your refrigerator and program it into your family’s cell phones.