Store your medicine up and away and out of sight – National Consumers League

By Nikola Sirovica, Communications Intern

Nikola Sirovica is a recent graduate of McGill University with a double major in Political Science and History. He is interested in the growth of social media and how the abundance of information influences the way individuals operate in a market economy. In his spare time he enjoys playing basketball, reading up on Eastern European history, and writing.  

Medications bear a striking resemblance to candy. And while most adults can easily distinguish between an Advil and a Jelly Bean, young children probably cannot. This makes it vitally important to know exactly where you store your medication. Over 60,000 young children end up in the emergency room each year because they accidentally swallow their parent’s medicine thinking it is candy. Never tell your child that medicine is candy to get them to take it.  Improper storage of medicine can lead to fatal accidents. Don’t let this happen to your child; make sure your home and medicine cabinet are childproof and safe. Here are some guidelines on how to keep your kids safe from your meds:

  1. Keep medicine and vitamins in an area out of reach and out of sight. This can include the top shelf to a closet, a high cabinet, or above the fridge. Make sure the area is cool and dry. If you have a medicine cabinet, invest in a lock so that kids can’t open the door without a password.
  2. Keep your medicine in their original containers. Not only is there important information such as dosage instructions, expiration dates, and disposal methods, medical containers typically have child resistant casing and safety caps. Should your child accidently ingest the wrong medicine, the information on the bottle can help emergency personnel assess the risk and danger your child is in.
  3. Memorize the poison control hotline 1-800-222-1222. Keep it in your phone in your emergency contact list and don’t hesitate to contact the number if you think your child has consumed the wrong medicine.

Travelling can be an even bigger issue. When staying in a hotel keep your meds in the safe. Even when you’re visiting your relative’s house inquire about where they keep their medicine and make sure your friends keep them in a place safely tucked away from your children. Always remember that children are curious creatures, and a brightly colored pill bears a striking resemblance to brightly colored candy. Don’t let them get their hands on those meds without your supervision.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is encouraging consumers to share pictures of where they put their meds to make sure they are up and away and out of sight of children. If you think you have a good spot to keep your medicine share it online, and submit a picture of your safe medicine storage place. Safety should be everyone’s top priority, especially when it involves your children and your medication.