HKQ Kids

Keeping medications out of little hands

Listen to the HKQ Kids' Radio spot:

Children are naturally curious. While it is important to encourage exploring and learning new things, keeping your children safe from medications can save their lives.

Nearly 165 kids every day are seen in Emergency Departments across the country for medication poisoning. And nearly every one of those trips was preventable. That is four busloads of kids – every day. Some simple steps will keep medications out of sight and out of reach.

1. Put all medications up and away, out of sight.

2. If you keep medicines in your handbag, keep your bag on a shelf, out of reach. If you keep medications on a dresser, move them too a higher location.

3. Don’t forget vitamins. Adult vitamins in small hands can be dangerous.

4. Use Child Safety caps whenever possible.

5. Be alert to visitors’ medications that might be in their handbags. Store visitor bags higher, and out of reach of little hands.

6. Consider other products you might use on a regular basis as well: eye drops, creams, and even hand sanitizers should be placed out of reach.

7. Clean out your medicine cabinet. Get rid of any expired or unused medication. Find out if your community has a medication take-back program or call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 to find out proper disposal techniques.

8. Control doses when children do need medication. Use only the dosing device that was supplied with medication. A household teaspoon or tablespoon won’t measure the same amount of medication.

9. Take time to read the medication directions, and never give more medicine to your children than prescribed, no matter how sick they may feel.

10. Make sure to put medicines away, and out of reach after administering them to your kids.

11. Use a medicine schedule for any caregivers, including day care personnel, and baby-sitters.

12. Save the Poison Control toll-free number in your cell phone and home phone. 1-800-222-1222. Put it on your refrigerator where everyone can see it. And remember, you can call the number to ask questions about how to take or give medicine too.

As always, communicate with your children. Tell them about the dangers of taking medicines that don’t belong to them. And, teach them that labels on medicines are rules, not guidelines.

Healthy habits when kids are young will help keep them safe now and will help them develop into responsible young adults later.

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