This month, we are gearing up for Poison Prevention week in March! To prepare for one of our favorite weeks of the year we are focusing on safety in the home. It doesn’t matter if you have a home with young kids, older adults, or any age in between – poisons span all ages. Here are some of our best poison tips!
SAFE STORAGE OF POISONS
Poisonings are predictable, preventable injuries. There are many ways to make your home poison safe. One of the most important ways to prevent poisons is to practice safe storage. Research done by SafeKids Worldwide found that 9 in 10 parents know that it’s important to store all medicine up high and out of reach after every use. However, nearly 7 in 10 parents admitted that they do not follow that rule.
Remember, prevention is the first step to keep your whole family safe, so follow these safe storage tips:
- NEVER place non-food items in the refrigerator.
- ALWAYS store products in their original containers.
- NEVER transfer a chemical from its original container to another container.
- Buy child-resistant containers whenever possible.
- Keep all medications up HIGH and OUT OF SIGHT. It is best if they are kept in a LOCKED cabinet or storage container.
- Go through every room in your home and secure all of the poisons. Download this checklist to make sure you don’t miss something!
- Don’t forget the products you may not think of as possible poisons such as diaper rash creams, hand sanitizer, and toothpaste.
- Practice safe storage of poisons AS SOON AS your child is born. Don’t wait for them to start crawling – start good habits early so you are ready!
- Label poisons with our Poison Help stickers. They are easy to order online and you can get up to 50 stickers for FREE! https://missouripoisoncenter.org/materials-category/order-materials/
Watch this video to learn more about safe storage! https://www.safekids.org/blog/simple-steps-safe-medicine-storage
ADULT MEDICATION SAFETY
According to a 2016 CDC report, 40% of all adults over the age of 65 reported being on five or more prescription drugs in the previous 30 days. With all of those medications to manage every day, mistakes can happen. Pill organizers are a helpful tool to ensure medications are taken at the right time on the correct day, but remember – these are not usually child resistant containers. Safe storage is very important for these pill planners to ensure children are not able to get into them.
Here are some other medication safety tips for adults to follow:
- Know the names and dosage of each your medications and keep a list with you for emergencies.
- Pay attention to the expiration date – properly dispose of expired medications.
- Use only medication that has been prescribed for you. Sharing medications is never recommended.
- Take antibiotics for the full time prescribed, do not stop once you start feeling better.
- Turn the lights on, put your glasses on, and read the label fully before taking your medication.
- Tell your doctor before starting any supplements or new medications. Make sure your health care provider knows about ALL of the medications you take – both over the counter and prescription.
- If you have made a dosing mistake or have any questions about your medication, call the Poison Help line – we can help you figure out the next steps.
If you have ANY questions about the above information, call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. Specially trained nurses and pharmacists are available 24/7/365 to answer your questions. The service is free and confidential.