I just spent the past five days in Vegas. Right now there are suitcases, tote bags and clothing strewn across my room (much to my husband’s dismay). Miss E has been super helpful and unzipping every pocket and exploring every nook and cranny.
“What’s this Mommy?” she says intrigued.
Um, yeah, it was a tampon. Awesome. I grab it and take it into the bathroom. “Just something for mommy honey!”
Then a few minutes later “Hmmm, what this?”
YIKES! It was an Excedrin Migraine tablet that must have fallen out into my suitcase. I quickly took it from her, explained it was mommy’s medicine and to never put anything in your mouth that you find on the floor.
Yeah right. Good luck with that. I’ve witnessed my kids eat M&Ms and Goldfish that might well be months (years?) old.
Did you know that every day 4 busloads of kids are taken to the ER for accidental medicine ingestion? Annually, that’s more than 60,000 kids per year and often times, it’s a parent’s or grandparent’s medicine that the child has gotten into. In fact, 38% of the time, the medicine belonged to a grandparent, 39% it’s a parent’s medicine. Children most commonly find these medicines on kitchen counters, nightstands and dressers, in purses and bags, or on the ground.
Look around your house. Do you have vitamins out on the counter? I see some right now from where I’m sitting. (Pause. Gets up. Puts them up in the cabinet.)
We try really hard. Most of our medicines are up in a high cabinet in our kitchen or in our bathroom out of reach. But after reading through the Up & Away website I realize that I’m not always as careful as I could be. When my kids are sick, the medicine they take usually sits up on our bar so we don’t forget to give it to them. Well guess what? Both kids could easily climb up and grab it. I am now thanking my lucky stars for the fact that neither child is a good medicine taker so they haven’t been interested.
Education and awareness about safe medicine storage is key. Follow these tips from Up & Away:
- Store all medicines and vitamins up and away and out of sight, even if you have to use them again in a few hours.
- Keep purses, bags, and coats that contain medicines or vitamins out of reach and sight.
- Never leave medicines or vitamins out on a table, countertop, or sink.
- Always make sure that caps are tightly locked and medicines put away after every use.
- Teach kids that medicine is not candy and you are the one who must give it to them.
- Set a convenient daily reminder to take your medicines and vitamins.
- Program the national Poison Help number, 1-800-222-1222 into your phone, in case of emergency.
Be sure to talk with grandparents and caregivers about safe medicine storage as well. We often remind them about electric outlets and medicines are often overlooked. It just takes once.
Up and Away is an educational program to remind families of the importance of safe medicine storage. It is an initiative of the PROTECT Initiative, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Educational Foundation. I am being compensated for this blog post but my opinions are all my own.