I still have a child-proof latch on the cabinet under my kitchen sink. It’s where I keep household cleaners and detergents, and while my kids are past the age (I think) of ingesting anything dangerous, it makes me feel better to keep it locked. But an article in the August 2011 issue of Parenting Early Years magazine pointed out a huge risk in my house that isn’t all that secure: prescription medicines.
My husband and I don’t take much medicine, so I guess I’ve never thought about. Our over-the-counter allergy remedies and bottle of Tylenol are stored in a plastic container on a higher shelf in our bathroom closet. But I’ve never thought about really securing our medicine. A statistic in the article was very surprising: Nearly 63,000 children under age 6 are rushed to the ER every year because of drug-related incidents. And kids are twice as likely to suffer accidental poisoning from medication than from cleaning products or other household substances.
Physicians believe ingestions are on the rise because of the increase in the number of medications moms and dads are taking–and because, like always, kids spend a lot of time at home.
The article offered these tips for making sure your kids stay safe:
1. Keep medicine out of sight and out of reach in a locked container.
2. Keep medicine in its original container so that you’ll know exactly what your child ingested if there’s an accident.
3. Avoid taking medicine in front of children, since they love to mimic their parents.
4. Throw out expired prescriptions. Check with local hospitals or health departments for ways to safely discard old medication.