Many years ago, when my son was a newborn, my husband was given an early release from the Army, and my son and I were sent home on a charter flight from Germany. When my husband followed about two months later,I was so happy to see him! I was in such a hurry to give my son his medications for a cold, that I failed to read the labels. I had two prescription bottles, one for a cough medicine for babies, the other one was a poison if taken internally. It was camphor, to rubbed on his little chest. But, the bottles looked identical, down to the color of the liquids inside. Instead of taking time to read the labels, I inadvertently poisoned my little baby boy!
We quickly took him to the local emergency room, where the nurse induced vomiting, and he was fine. He didn’t have to have his little tummy pumped. We were lucky. A lot of kids are accidently poisoned each year, and don’t make it home to laugh about the experience later.
500,000 Times Each Year Children Get The Wrong Medicine or The Wrong Dose
Today Safe Kids Worldwide® released a new research report that found kids are
getting into medicine at an alarming rate. Every minute of every day, a poison control center receives a call about potential medicine poisoning for a child age five and under. And 67,000 times each year, or every eight minutes, a young child goes to the emergency room for medicine poisoning. This is a 30 percent increase over the past ten years.
While most parents think they are keeping their child safe by keeping prescription medications out of the reach of their small children, the truth is that they don’t always keep ALL medications put away and out of reach. Here are some tips from Safe Kids Worldwide to help you keep your little ones safe in your home. Share them with visitors and with those who care for your child outside of their home to ensure your child is safe both inside and outside of the home.
Put medicines up and away and out of sight.
- Make sure that all medications, including vitamins and adult medicines, are stored out of reach and out of sight of children. In 86% of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the child got into medicine belonging to an adult.
Consider products you might not think about as medicines.
- Most parents know to store medicine up and away – or at least the products they consider to be medicine. But they don’t always think about products such as eye drops or vitamins, which may not seem like medicine but actually are. Look around your home to see what products are within the reach of children and may be harmful, then move them up and away.
Be alert to visitors’ medicine.
- When you have visitors in your home, offer to put purses, bags and coats out of reach of children to protect their property from a curious child. Well meaning visitors may not be thinking about the medicines that they have brought with them in their belongings. In 43% of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the child got into medicine belonging to a relative, such as an aunt, uncle or grandparent.
Put medicines up and away after EVERY use
- It may be tempting to keep medicine close at hand when you need to give another dose of medicine in just a few hours. Accidents can happen fast. It only takes a few seconds for children to get into medicine that could make them very sick. Put medicine up and away after every use. And if you need a reminder, set an alarm on your watch or cell phone, or write yourself a note.
Read the label and know what’s in the medicine.
- Take the time to read the label and follow the directions on your child’s medicine. Check the active ingredients listed on the label. Don’t give your child more than one medicine with the same active ingredient. Giving your child two or medicines that have the same active ingredient can put your child at risk for an overdose.
Put the Poison Control number in your home and cell phone: 1-800-222-1222.
- You can also put the number on your refrigerator or another place in your home where babysitters can see it.
To learn more about how to keep your kids safe, click here to watch the educational video, “Safe Storage, Safe Dosing, Safe Kids.”
“I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Safe Kids Worldwide and I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation