Many families depend on medicines and vitamins to feel well and stay in good health. But medicine, including those you purchase without a prescription, can be harmful if taken in the wrong way or by the wrong person. Thousands of young children end up in emergency rooms each year because they got into medicines while an adult wasn’t looking. These emergency visits can be prevented by always putting every medicine up and away and out of children’s reach and sight every time you use it. Practicing safe medicine storage, while at home and when on-the-go, can help keep children and elderly safe.
Six simple tips for safe storage at home and on-the-go:
- Choose a Safe Spot: Walk around your house to find the safest place to keep your medicines. The location should be up and away and out of the sight and reach of young children.
- Lock the Safety Cap: Always relock the cap on a medicine bottle. If the bottle has a locking cap that turns, twist it until you hear the click or cannot twist anymore.
- Put Medicines Away: After locking the safety cap, it’s important to always put medicines back in their safe storage location. Curious children act fast, so never leave medicine out on a kitchen counter or at a sick child’s bedside, even if you have to give it again in a few hours.
- Remind Guests: Ask family members, houseguests, and other visitors to keep purses, bags, or coats that have medicine in them up and away and out of sight when they are in your home.
- While Traveling: While staying with family or friends or at a hotel, find a safe storage place that is out of sight and reach of young children, like a high cabinet. If you’re in a hotel room, try the passcode-protected room safe for safe storage.
- Take Action: Call your poison control center at 800.222.1222 right away if you think your child might have gotten into a medicine or vitamin, even if you are not completely sure. Program the Poison Help number into your home and cell phones so you will have it when you need it.