Preventing Accidental Poisoning
Last week was National Poison Prevention Week, so what better time to address the accidental poisoning of children by over the counter and prescription medications? Every year over 60,000 kids take trips to the emergency room due to accidental poisoning. Accidents do happen, but with diligence and information, we can lower that number significantly. Now is the time to educate yourself and your children about medications and safe medication storage.
Most medications come in child resistant packaging. This can give us all a false sense of security. Are these caps all you need to protect your children? In 2013, NBC did a story on just how quickly children can open these containers. They gave a group of small children each a bottle with a child resistant cap and within minutes all the children had opened the caps. These caps are not the answer! Our children’s safety is in our hands. The good news is that there are things that you can do to make sure your kids are safe.
The very best thing you can do is keep your medication locked up. Many companies sell medication storage that comes with a key. Safetote is an example of these companies. They sell a medication storage bag that comes with a lock and key to keep your medications secure. It is also a good idea to keep medications up high and out of reach of kids.
Never leave your medication out on a low shelf, or on the counter. Even if you don’t have small children, be mindful of who might visit your home and keep medications out of reach. Never refer to medicine as “candy” when trying to get children to take their medications. Medications can look like candy and if children think they are candy, they might gobble up a lot of the medications if they get their hands on them.
Even with all of these safeguards, sometimes accidents happen, and you should always have Poison Control’s phone number handy in case of an accident. Make sure to leave poison control’s phone number with all babysitters as well. Poison Control is a great resource and can help you determine if there is an antidote for the poisoning or if you need to head to the emergency room.