Parents, have you ever turned your back for a minute only to find your toddler on top of the counter or table? We all know that children are curious explorers. It’s kind of their job! This means that young children under the age of six are especially at risk for poisonings from something we all have in our home – Medication. In fact, this age group makes up approximately ½ the exposure calls made to the Missouri Poison Center each year. This infographic, provided by our partner Safe Kids, shows some of the dangers surrounding medication and children.
SO LET’S TALK MEDICATION STORAGE….
In your home, where is your medication stored? Do you keep everything in one cabinet? On the nightstand? In a pill storage container like a pill planner? Do you have different medications stored in several areas of your home? Safe storage is where it all starts. It is the first step in preventing medication poisoning in your home.
Here are a few tips to get you started on safe medication storage:
- Child-resistant is NOT the same as child-proof.
- Keep all medication up and away and out of a child’s reach. This includes the purses and bags of guests and visitors to the home.
- Never call medication candy to get a child to take it. It’s medicine – always!
- Medication needs to be put away after every use. It may be tempting to keep that bottle of pain reliever out for the next dose when you have a sick child, but this is when many exposures occur either by a sibling or a child feeling better from the medication.
- It doesn’t even take a minute for a medication exposure to occur. Do not underestimate a child’s determination or ability to get into medication.
- Save the Poison Help line into your phone and post it in several locations in your home:
- Young children, often lack the visual clues that tell us something is poisonous. To them it looks like a tasty candy or a colorful liquid drink. If you don’t believe it, can you tell the difference which one is medicine and which one is candy?
So which is it? Medicine or Candy?
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.
Answer: The picture on the left is candy. The picture on the right is gummy vitamins.