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Parents Everywhere – Keep Medicines Up and Away

Categories: Medication Safety

Emily Skor, Vice President, Communications and Alliance Development, Consumer Healthcare Products Association

Emily Skor, Vice President, Communications and Alliance Development, Consumer Healthcare Products Association

Author - Emily Skor
Vice President, Communications and Alliance Development,
Consumer Healthcare Products Association

Nothing is more important for a parent than their children’s safety and well-being. As a mother of two young children, I know that we parents appreciate every reminder we can get as we juggle busy lives and balance many responsibilities. One reminder that rings true for me – keep medicines and vitamins up and away and out of sight of children, every time you use them.

Each year over 60,000 children under the age of five go to the emergency rooms because of unsupervised medicine ingestions. Parents can take action to protect their children from an accidental overdose of medicine by storing medicine safely, up and away and out of sight. This is the theme of an educational program launched recently by CDC and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Educational Foundation as part of CDC’s PROTECT initiative, which works with leading safety experts to develop strategies for keeping our children safe.

Medicines and vitamins help families feel well and stay well, but children are curious and they are not discerning if they see a bottle on the counter. As we kick off a new year, talk to your children about what medicine is and why you must be the one to give it to them. Remind babysitters, houseguests and visitors to keep purses and bags that have medicines in them up and away and out of sight. Store medicines out of reach, and program the poison control center number into your home and cell phones, so you have it should you need it (1-800-222-1222).

The makers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines want parents and caregivers to use and store medicines responsibly. For more information on the safe and appropriate use of all OTC medicines, including free brochures, online articles from medical experts, instructions for reading a Drug Facts label, and resources from other organizations, visit www.OTCSafety.org.

Emily Skor
Vice President, Communications and Alliance Development, Consumer Healthcare Products Association

Public Comments

Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated. These comments do not represent the official views of CDC, and CDC does not guarantee that any information posted by individuals on this blog is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. Read more about our comment policy ».

  1. August 8, 2012 at 10:16 pm ET  -   Kim Amer

    We must make teaching about safe nursing our first priority! I participated in Transforming Care at the Bedside (funded by RWJF and IHI) and I learned so much. There are so many easy ways to be safer.

    I just finished a textbook on Safety in Nursing and I also recommend a book called the Patient’s checklist to lay persons to make sure they are safe in the hospital.

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  2. January 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm ET  -   Lilly

    When I was a toddler I accidentally ingested an entire bottle of my uncle’s prescription medicine. Obviously, I was fine after being rushed to the emergency room and having my stomach pumped..but this truly a problem. Even the safety lide on medicine and vitamins can’t keep all kids out.

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  3. January 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm ET  -   Peter Steve

    Australia has launched a program for the public to take their old / expired medicines to any pharmacy for safe disposal. This prevents accidental and or missuse from disposing of them in say a normal garbage bin , it also stops them from being flushed down the toilet and of course from being used when expired , which could harm someone. Eyedrops , eardrops and the like , are all included in the free – drop off to the pharmacy program your unwanted and expired medicines.

    This project is a good one for all the good reasons.

    Sincerely Peter Steve

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