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.
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.
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.
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
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
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)
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
American Academy of Family Physicians
American College of Preventive Medicine
Academic Pediatric Association
Safe States Alliance