A report released this month says that parents know what to do to keep their kids safe from medicine poisoning, but they don’t always do it.
“Nine in ten parents agree that it’s important to store medicines out of sight and up high after every use,” said Dr. Marcee White, Medical Director of Mobile Health Programs for the Children’s National Health System. “However, seven in ten parents report storing medications within a child’s sight. Nine in ten parents agree that medicine should be kept in its original container, however more than one in three parents say that they or someone in their household often uses daily pill organizers or baggies to keep medicine handy.”
Child-resistant packaging is not enough by itself to prevent accidental ingestion.
“Half of the parents think that child-resistant packaging means that a child won’t get into medicine,” said Dr. White. “However, the research shows that 45 to 55 percent of accidental poisonings are involved with child-resistant packaging. Child resistant does not mean child proof.”
The right thing to do is relatively simple.
“Parents should store all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and supplements up and away, out of reach and sight every time,” said Dr. White. “They should keep medicine in its original child-resistant packaging. They should start practicing these safe medication storage procedures when their child is first born.”
Parents should also put the Poison Help number 1-800-222-1222 in their phone and post it visibly at home. For more medicine safety tips, go to SafeKids.org.