Are you storing your medicines, vitamins and supplements out of sight and out of reach of your children?
According to a new report, most parents know they should be following these medicine safe-storage rules to reduce their children’s risk of accidental medicine poisoning, but less than half are actually putting that knowledge into practice.
If a young child can see medicine, they may be able to reach it. About half of child poisonings happen because a youngster climbed up on a chair, toy or other device to get at medicine, according to the report.
As well as underestimating kids’ ability to reach medicines, parents may let safe-storage rules lapse because of convenience, the survey showed. Almost half of parents surveyed said they felt it was OK to keep medicines on the kitchen counter or in another visible location if they used them everyday.
Accidental medicine poisoning is a huge public health problem. Almost every minute, a poison control center receives a call because a young child got into medicine. And each year, almost 60,000 kids arrive in emergency rooms for the same reason, enough to fill about 4 school buses every day, according to Safe Kids Worldwide.
Here’s what you can do to protect your kids from accidental poisoning:
• Always store medicine out of sight and out of your child’s reach.
• Keep medicine in its original child-resistant packaging.
• Practice storing medicine safely as soon as your first child is born.
• Put the Poison Help number – 1-800-222-1222 – into your phone and post it in a visible place at home.
• Instead of keeping your medicine handy, use reminder tools like cell phone alarms or medication schedules.