500,000 Times Each Year --
A Child Gets into Medicine, or Gets the Wrong Dose
Truely alarming, huh? I think so. And, as a mother to two young children that into these statistics age ranges, I am open to any tips and suggestions that will help safeguard from medicine poisoning. Have you taken a look at your medicine cabinet lately. I was trying to find headache medicine the other day, and was surprised to see the drugstore of medicines I had acquired over the years, which I forgot were even there. And, when I looked at a handful of the pills, I coudln't believe how they looked like candy and other sweets on the market today. No wonder why children are getting into medicine cabinets and mistaking your medicine for candy. After hearing the report and watching the video below, I made a point to go through and clean up our medicine cabinet last night after the girls were in bed, and told my husband that this weekend we had to either invest in a new medicine cabinet with a lock, or buy a lock that we could attach to our current medicine cabinet. Now that my girls are mobile and getting into everything, I need to make a point to keep chemical, poisons and medicine out of their reach.
But, even with a lock on the medicine cabinet, that is not enough. “Ask any parent, and they will tell you they store medicine where children can’t get them,” said Kate Carr, President and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “But they might not be thinking of pills stored in purses, vitamins left on counter tops or a diaper rash remedy near a changing table.” I don't know about you, but as I have gotten older, I am finding myself being prescribed more medicines, and adding to the number of vitamins and supplements I take daily. According to the study put out by the Safe Kids Worldwide, they said that "eight out of ten adults took at least one medicine or vitamin in the past week, and three out of ten adults took five or more." But, most startling was that "In 86% of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the child into medicine belonging to an adult." If you are like many moms on the go, you probably keep some of your medicine and vitamins in your purse, on the counter in a pill organizer, etc., without ever thinking your child would go through your purse, or be able to reach the counter. But, I can speak from experience with my girls in that they like to explore and look into everything. I recently had to remove diaper rash creams, both prescription and non from the changing table area, as my youngest likes to pick up things and put them in her mouth. While I was changing Savannah's diaper, she was walking around the house with a prescription diaper rash tube in her month. Thankfully the cap was tightly on, and she only had it in her month for a few seconds. I can't imagine what could have happened if the cap came lose and she ingested this ointment. Ugg, makes my stomach sick just thinking about it.
I know you are probably thinking, this will never happen to me, my kids will never get into the medicine cabinet or areas where you store your medicine, or let alone ingest enough pills to cause medicine poisoning. But, you never know. And, like they say, "It is better to be safe, than sorry." So, why not follow these helpful tips from Safe Kids Worldwide, to help reduce your family's risk of medicine poisioning. Make sure you also share this list with family and friends (especially new and first time moms), to make sure that they are aware of these startling statistics, and can be sure that they are doing everything they can to also safeguard againgst medicine poisoning.
Tips to Keep Kids Safe Around Medicine
- Put medicine and vitamins up and away and out of sight. (In 67 percent of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the medicine was left within reach of the child, such as in a purse, on a counter, or under a sofa cushion.)
- Even if you are tempted to keep it handy, put medicine out of reach after every use.
- Look around your home for products you might not think about as medicine, like rubbing alcohol, eye drops or gummy vitamins, and store them out of the reach of children.
- When you have guests in your home, offer to put purses, bags and coats where kids can’t get to them. (In 43 percent of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the child got into medicine belonging to a relative, such as an aunt, uncle or grandparent.)
- Be alert to medicine in places your child visits. Take a look around to make sure there isn’t medicine within reach of your child.
- Read the label and know what’s in the medicine. Take the time to read the label and follow the directions on your child’s medicine. Check the active ingredients listed on the label. Don’t give your child more than one medicine with the same active ingredient. Giving your child two or medicines that have the same active ingredient can put your child at risk for an overdose.
- Program the nationwide poison control center number (1-800-222-1222) into your phones, and make sure to keep where a babysitter can see it, like on the refrigerator, or counter.
To learn more about how to keep your kids safe, watch the educational video, “Safe Storage, Safe Dosing, Safe Kids" below:
Visit www.SafeKids.org for more tips on safe storage, safe dosing and safe disposal of medicine.
About Safe Kids Worldwide
Safe Kids Worldwide is a global network of organizations dedicated to providing parents and caregivers with practical and proven resources to protect kids from unintentional injuries, the number one cause of death to children in the United States. Throughout the world, almost one million children die of an injury each year, and every one of these tragedies is preventable. Safe Kids works with an extensive network of more than 600 coalitions in the U.S. and in 23 countries to reduce traffic injuries, drownings, falls, burns, poisonings and more. Since 1988, Safe Kids has helped reduce the U.S. childhood death rate from unintentional injury by 53 percent. Working together, we can do much more for kids everywhere. Join our effort at www.safekids.org.
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Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Safe Kids Worldwide and I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.