BY SAFE KIDS WORLDWIDE
Grandchildren are curious by nature, and it makes sense that they would be even more curious when it comes to medication. Many medications look and taste like candy.
Medications are the leading cause of child poisoning. In 2011, 67,700 children were seen in emergency rooms for medicine poisoning. That’s one child every eight hours. Almost all of these visits are because the child got into medicines during a moment alone.
While it’s important to encourage our grandkids to explore and discover new things, when it comes to medication, we want to be careful to keep them safe.
Here are a few tips to show you how:
• Put all medicines up and away and out of sight including your own. Make sure that all medicines and vitamins are stored out of reach and out of sight of children. In three out of four emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the child got into medicine belonging to a parent or grandparent.
• Consider places where kids get into medicine. Kids get into medication in all sorts of places, like in purses and nightstands. In 67 percent of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the medicine was left within reach of a child, such as in a purse, on a counter or dresser or on the ground.
• Consider products you might not think about as medicines. Most grandparents store medicine up and away – or at least the products they consider to be medicine. They may not think about products such as diaper rash remedies, vitamins or eye drops as medicine, but they actually are and need to be stored safely.
• Use the dosing device that comes with the medicine. Proper dosing is important, particularly for young children. Kitchen spoons aren’t all the same, and a teaspoon or tablespoon used for cooking won’t measure the same amount as the dosing device. Use the dosing device that comes with the medicine to prevent dosing errors.
• Put the toll-free Poison Help Number into your home and cell phone: 1-800-222-1222. You also can put the number on your refrigerator or another place in your home where the babysitters and caregivers can see it. And remember, the poison help number is not just for emergencies; you can call with questions about how to take or give medicine.
For more safety tips, visit www.SafeKids.org.