Take your medicineā€¦and store it carefully

Take your medicine...and store it carefully

Poison centers manage millions of poisonings every year — a majority of which are linked prescription drugs and non-prescription pain relievers — according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC). Nine out of every 10 poisonings happen at home and half of all poisonings involve children under the age of 6.

Poisoning from medicines are the single most common occurrence (11 percent of exposures), but combined, exposure to cleaning products and cosmetics make up over 13 percent of poisoning cases. 

Poisoning is preventable

Put it away. Store medicines, household products, and cosmetics/personal care products up high and out of sight of children. Never leave medicine out on a kitchen counter or at a sick child’s bedside. And don't forget to put away your skin toner, makeup remover, and foundation sitting within reach on your bathroom sink.

Store medicine in a locked cabinet. Ensure children can’t use chairs or stack items to climb to products stored out of their reach. Install safety latches on cabinets used for medicines.

Clean out your medicine cabinet periodically. Safely dispose of medicines that are expired or no longer needed. (Get more details about safe medicine disposal from the Food and Drug Administration.)

Always relock the safety cap. Many incidents happen when adults are distracted while using these products. Remember that child-resistant is not childproof — it is designed to keep children away from the product for a short time before a parent notices.

Never call medicine “candy.” Tell children what medicine is and why you must be the one to give it to them.

In case of a poison emergency

Since you started reading this, 10 more people have contacted a poison center. If you — or someone in your home — has come into contact with a poisonous substance, contact a poison center at 800-222-1222.

The AAPCC has also created a self-triage help function at poisonhelp.org.

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Updated 02.21