Miss A Columnist

Melissa Wenzel is a freelance writer and public relations consultant. After graduating from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunications at Arizona State University, Melissa went to work for a boutique public relations/public affairs agency where she cut her teeth in the business by working on some of the state’s most polarizing elections and controversial public figures. Two years later, in need of a little soul cleansing, Melissa took a job with the American Red Cross where she worked media and crisis communications in the wake of local and national disasters, including Hurricane Katrina.
After her twins, Jonathan and James were born in 2007, Melissa returned to work part-time before starting her own consulting and freelance writing business in 2009.

When she and her husband are not chasing, or being chased by their four year old boys, Melissa can be found elbow-deep in cake batter or pouring over a new book. She’s currently trying to muster the courage to learn to scuba dive. Read Melissa’s musings on life with her light saber wielding twins at Musings of a Twin Mama. To learn more about her work, visit www.melissawenzel.com. If you have something for moms, children or families that you would like covered on Miss A, please email Melissa at melissa@melissawenzel.com.

Tips On Keeping Young Children Safe From Dangerous Medications From The Protect Initiative

As parents, we know it only takes a minute for a child to get into something they shouldn’t – like medicine or vitamins. These incidences can be prevented by taking a few simple steps to ensure your children don’t ingest something harmful.

Photo Credit: upandaway.org

Did you know every year more than 60,000 young children end up in emergency rooms because they got into medicines while their parent or caregiver was not looking? In an effort to remedy this disturbing statistic and keep children safe from dangerous meds around the house, the PROTECT Initiative launched the “Up & Away and Out of Sight” campaign. Read and click through the links below to keep your children out of harm’s way.


Keep Them Safe: Simple Safety Steps from the Up & Away Campaign

Pick a place your children cannot reach.

Any kind of medicine or vitamin can cause harm if taken in the wrong way, even medicine you can buy without a prescription. Walk around your house and find a storage place too high for a child to reach or see.

Put medicines away every time.

Never leave them out on a kitchen counter or at a sick child’s bedside, even if you have to give the medicine again in a few hours. Always put every medicine and vitamin away every time you use it, including those you use every day.

Downloadable Up and Away Poster

Hear the click to make sure the safety cap is locked.

Always relock the safety cap on a medicine bottle. If the medicine has a locking cap that turns, twist it until you hear the click. Remember, even though many medicines and vitamins have safety caps, children may be able to open them. Always store every medicine and vitamin up and away and out of children’s sight.

Teach your children about medicine safety.

Tell your children what medicine is and why you must be the one to give it to them. Never tell children medicine is candy to get them to take it, even if your child does not like to take his or her medicine.

FDA’s Medicines In My Home

Tell guests about medicine safety.

Ask houseguests and visitors to keep purses, bags, or coats that have medicines in them up and away and out of sight when they are in your home.

Be prepared in case of emergency.

Call your poison control center at (800) 222-1222 right away if you think your child might have gotten into a medicine or vitamin. Program the number into your home and cell phones so you will have it when you need it.

Poison Prevention Information
Ph. 800-222-1222

Up and Away is an initiative of PROTECT, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Educational Foundation and the following organizations:

For more information, including downloadable tipsheets, visit upandaway.org

Downloadable Up and Away Tip Sheet

CDC Medication Safety Page


Government Agencies

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

National Partners

American Association of Poison Control Centers

Children’s Safety Network

Institute for Safe Medication Practices

National Consumers League

National Council on Patient Information and Education

National Safety Council

Poison Prevention Week Council

Safe Kids

Program Partners

American Academy of Family Physicians

American College of Preventive Medicine

Academic Pediatric Association

Safe States Alliance

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