Protecting Kids from Prescription Drugs
Written by: Laura Pearson
Prescription medications are important for overall health and wellness, but when not used properly they can be deadly. Children are especially vulnerable because they are small, and even small amounts of some medications can have serious consequences, with some drugs more dangerous than others. Accidental poisonings, overdoses, and visits to the emergency room are too often the results of kids getting into medicines in the home.
Tips for Storing Medications Safely
Having prescription medications in the house may be inevitable, but one of the most important things you can do to keep them from getting into little hands is to store them safely. Here are some smart things new parents need to learn to do when it comes to keeping drugs in the house:
- Keep medications out of reach and out of sight of children. This includes not just prescriptions, but also over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and supplements.
- Think about all the places a baby or child could reach, such as purses and drawers. Just being out of sight of a child is not good enough; the medications must be out of reach.
- Always close caps tightly and completely after using a medication. Keep medications in their original containers with childproof caps.
- Consider where medications could be in places you visit, such as the home of a friend or family member. Also be aware of medications a visitor may bring into your home.
- Always, always put medications back in place after every use, even if you will be getting another dose in a few hours.
Administer Your Children’s Medication Safely
Simply hiding medications from your children is not enough to protect them from all harm. If your child needs to take a medication, keep it stored safely when not in use, but also know how to administer it in a way that is safe. You can do this by following your doctor’s or pharmacist’s instructions on how to give the medicine. Also, always use the dosing device that comes with the medicine for the greatest accuracy. Read the drug label carefully for warnings or contraindications. If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to call the pharmacist or your pediatrician.
Educate Your Children about Medicine Safety
As your kids get older, it is crucial to teach them about medicines and how they are to be used safely. Be sure your children understand that medications are not toys or candy, and that they can be harmful. They are only to be distributed by mom or dad and that drugs should never be used without permission.
When you take the steps to store medicines safely, to educate your children about prescription safety, and to use drugs only as directed, you protect your kids from the possible risks of prescription medications.