Cold and flu season is upon us, and many moms and dads are beginning to stock home medicine cabinets in anticipation of the stuffy noses, coughs and fevers that winter often brings. While it may seem like common knowledge to store medications out of the reach of children, more than 70,000 young children – roughly four busloads of kids each day – end up in emergency rooms each year after getting into medicine and vitamins that were left within reach.
Toddlers and young children are curious and can quickly get into medicines or vitamins when parents and caregivers aren’t looking. They get into medicines that are placed by bedside tables and kitchen sinks, or kept in purses and diaper bags, or come across pills that have fallen on the floor, or that are kept in jacket pockets. And it can happen in the blink of an eye. A few simple safe storage steps – followed every time – can protect our kids.
Whether it’s during the winter when cold/flu season is at its peak, or in the spring and fall when many of us rely on allergy medications to treat our symptoms, remember to put all medicines, vitamins or supplements that you or your kids may take up and away and out of sight every time they are used.
For downloadable safe medicine storage tip sheets, “teachable moment” coloring pages for kids and more, visit www.UpandAway.org.
(Thanks to Dr. Dan Budnitz, Director of Center of Disease Control and Prevention’s Medication Safety Program, for writing the information in this post.)