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Medication Safety and Your Child

Unfortunately, every year many children are brought to an emergency room after accidentally ingesting medications. In some cases, medications may look like candy to a child and if left in reach, could be ingested, causing major medical issues. Ensuring that your child does not have access to medication is a large portion of your child proofing process. Below are some tips to keep your children safe from accidental poisoning, or worse.

Keep All Medications Out of Reach

  • A child resistant cap is not enough to keep your child safe. With determination and observing how you open the bottles, it may become quite easy for them to figure out. Your medications should be stored up and away from children and a childproof latch should secure the cabinet they are in.

  • Never leave medications out in the open or on the counter after you've used it.

  • Dispose of old or expired medications properly. Call your county government to inquire on the safe disposal of medications. Do not flush them, pour them down the drain or throw them in the trash.

  • Don't take your medications in front of your children if possible. Children like to mimic their siblings and parents, and should they find medication, they may want to pretend they are like you or another grown-up taking their medicine.

  • Remind visitors, friends, other siblings and relatives that medications should not be left in purses or coat pockets where little hands can reach them.

If Your Child Takes Medication Accidentally

  • Call poison control immediately at 1-800-222-1222. The number should be readily available in your home or save it as a contact in your phone.

  • If necessary (you may be directed by Poison Control), take your child to the nearest emergency room. There are varying types of treatment and tests your child may need including:

  • Blood tests

  • Having their heart rate, breathing rate and their blood pressure observed and monitored.

  • Giving activated charcoal to stop the body from absorbing the medication.

  • They may be admitted for observation.

To Prevent Mistakes with Your Child's Medication

  • DO NOT use medications that are expired.

  • Read the directions carefully and make sure the medication is designed for children.

  • Measure carefully with the included cups, spoons or syringe. Don't guess.

  • DO NOT use prescriptions that are not your child's, doing so could cause great harm.

  • If you are unsure, contact your child's pediatrician for further instructions.

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