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Medication Safety

We want to encourage our kids to explore and discover their world, so it’s especially important to include medicine safety when childproofing your home. Here are a few tips on how to keep kids safe around medicine.

Hard Facts about Medication Safety

  • Medicine is the leading cause of child poisoning.
  • In 2017, nearly 52,000 children under the age of 6 were seen in the emergency room for medicine poisoning. That’s one child every 10 minutes.

Top Tips about Medication Safety

  1. Keep medicine up and away, out of reach and sight of children, even medicine you take every day. Kids are naturally curious and can easily get into things if they are kept within their reach. Put all medicine and vitamins at or above counter height where kids can’t reach or see them.

  2. Consider places where kids get into medicine. Children often find medicine kept in purses or on counters and nightstands. Place bags and briefcases on high shelves or hang them on hooks, out of children’s reach and sight.

  3. Remember products you might not think about as medicine. Health products such as vitamins, diaper rash creams and even eye drops can be harmful if kids get into them. Store these items out of reach and sight of children, just as you would over-the-counter and prescription medicine.

  4. Give medicine safely to children. Use only the dosing device that comes with liquid medicine, not a kitchen spoon. When other caregivers are giving your child medicine, write clear instructions about what medicine to give, how much to give and when to give it. Using a medicine schedule can help with communication between caregivers.

  5. Save the Poison Help number in your phone and post it visibly at home: 1-800-222-1222. Specialists at poison control centers provide free, confidential, expert medical advice 24 hours a day. They can answer questions about how to give or take medicine and help with poison emergencies.

  6. Share medicine safety information with family and friends. Teach other caregivers such as family members, babysitters and friends about medicine safety and make sure they know the Poison Help number.

What to know about storing medicine

This infographic shows what parents and caregivers need to know about storing medicine safely in the home.

Laundry Packets

Hard Facts about Laundry Packets 

In 2017, there were 10,585 calls to poison centers related to laundry packet incidents involving young children – more than one every hour.

That’s a decrease of 19 percent in the number of annual cases, since the peak in 2015. Young children are explorers, and, as they develop, they often learn by touch and by putting things into their mouths.

Liquid laundry detergent packets are designed to dissolve in water. When they come in contact with wet hands or mouths, they start to dissolve and might release the concentrated liquid. We want to keep kids safe around liquid laundry packets. Here are a few tips:

Top Tips about Laundry Packet Safety

  1. Keep liquid laundry packets out of children’s reach and sight.

  2. Keep packets in their original container and keep the container closed.
  3. If a child gets into liquid laundry packets, call the Poison Help number immediately: 1-800-222-1222.

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For more general information about kids safety visit: safekids.org