Medicine Safety for Children
Children are curious. And they have little sense of what is safe and unsafe—especially when it comes to understanding the dangers of medicine. By following these 10 tips, you can help prevent an accidental overdose.
10 ways to keep medicine out of the reach of children
- Store medicine in a locked cabinet—The safest place to store medicine is out of the sight and reach of children. This can be a high cabinet or a closet, and it should be locked at all times.
- Use child-resistant caps for added security—If you have children in your house, all medicine containers should have child-resistant caps.
- Replace lids and return medicine to its storage place—It may be tempting to leave medicine out if you're going to take another dose again soon. But children act quickly, so even medicine left out for a moment can be dangerous.
- Don't rely on child-resistant packaging alone—Bear in mind that child-resistant doesn't mean childproof. This means that a determined child may find a way to open even the most secure bottle caps.
- Keep medicine in its original container—Don't switch containers for pills and liquids, otherwise they could be mistaken for something else. Also, do not use a medicine if the container doesn't have a label or the label isn't legible.
- Take medicine with you if you're called away—If you get called to the phone or front door while you're administering medicine to yourself or your child, don't leave the container behind where your child could get a hold of it.
- Carefully discard unused medicine—Check with your pharmacist for a local collection program. If you must throw out the medicine, make sure to do it properly. GET TIPS FOR PROPERLY DISPOSING OF MEDICATIONS >
- Do not refer to medicine as candy—Getting your child to take his medicine by making him think it's candy can be very dangerous because most children will seek out candy. It is safer to help your child understand that medicine is medicine by calling it by its proper name.
- Be careful of purses and bags—Remember to keep your purse and diaper bag out of your child's reach. Also, be careful about guests' purses, overnight bags and suitcases, because they may contain medicine.
- Unpack medicine from grocery bags first—A bottle of coated pills can look like candy to a young child. So, you should remove medicine from grocery bags and store it safely in case your child starts investigating the bags.