If you look in the kitchen and bathroom cabinets of most homes, you are likely to find at least one bottle containing vitamins, over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs. While many people don’t think twice about having medications and vitamins in their homes, these items can pose a potentially serious or fatal risk to young children.
Children are naturally inquisitive. They like to explore and get into cabinets, closets and “hiding places” to see what they can find. If you have kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews or other children who frequent your home, it is very likely they have seen you take your medication or vitamins, or at least know where you keep the bottles.
As the World Health Organization states that approximately 13 percent of all fatal, accidental poisonings worldwide are caused as a result of acute poisoning to children under the age of 20, it is vital you take preventative action to prevent kids from getting into your medication and vitamin bottles. The following safety tips could help prevent a tragic accident:
Store All Vitamins and Medication Out of Sight
Many people store their vitamin and medication bottles on shelves and in cabinets where they will be easily accessible. This is a mistake. If you can see the bottles and easily reach them, it is likely your kids can too. Store all vitamins and medication out of sight. As the saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.”
When visitors or guests arrive at your home, offer them a safe place to store any vitamins or medications and advise them of the importance of keeping such items kept out of sight and out of reach. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, 43 percent of the emergency room visits for medicine poisoning trace back to a child getting into medication belonging a relative.
Never Leave Bottles Out
As soon as you take your vitamins or medication, be sure to secure the lids on tightly and put the bottles away. Never leave bottles sitting out on a counter, table or out in the open where kids may be tempted to open them, try them or even play with them. Even so-called “child-resistant” caps are not completely child-proof. You do not want your child accidently ingesting something which could cause him or her serious harm.
Dispense Medications Safely
In the event your children requires a certain type of prescription or over-the-counter medication, it is important you dispense the medication to him or her safely.
- Read the label fully before dispensing any medication.
- Use only the dosing device provided with the medication.
- Never give more medication than recommended on the label.
- Do not give your child more than one medication at the time. In the event your doctor prescribes multiple medications, be sure to confirm the medications are compatible and there is no risk of overdose or adverse reaction, before dispensing to your child.
Talk to Your Kids
Last, but not least, talk to your kids about the dangers of using vitamins or medication that does not belong to or has not been specifically prescribed to them. Even when your child is prescribed medication, he or she needs to know that it is not something to be taken at any time.
Once your kids understand the importance of being cautious with vitamins and medications, it will go a long way towards preventing them from getting into it.