How to Practice Medicine Safety for Kids
Every September is Baby Safety Month, during which we take the time to educate parents and caregivers about the most important safety tips for children. And one of the most important yet often overlooked components of child safety is actually medicine safety. Parents or caregivers may think little of leaving their medications on their nightstand or on top of the kitchen counter, but you’d be surprised how often children can face serious consequences after gaining access to medicines in their own homes. In fact, unintentional pediatric poisonings among children under 5 years of age resulted in an estimated 61,500 ED-treated, nonfatal injuries in 2020.
Babies and toddlers require undivided attention at all times, so it’s easy to let common medicine safety practices fall by the wayside. But if you’re a parent or a childcare provider, Baby Safety Month is a great time to remind yourself about the best medication safety protocols for young children. If you’re in need of a refresher, here are a few of the most important medicine safety habits to practice around kids.
The Best Medicine Safety Practices for Kids
Most parents put great effort into “baby proofing” their house but fail to consider medicine safety, especially in regard to seemingly innocuous health supplements or OTC medications. However, making medicine safety a habitual part of your everyday life prevents dangerous situations from occurring, even when you’re busy with other responsibilities. These medicine safety tips will help you protect children of all ages from accidental overdoses and other medication mishaps.
Teach Your Child About the Dangers of Medicine Misuse
Teaching your children about the dangers of medication misuse at a young age can help prevent issues in the future. Whether you’re talking about prescription medications, OTC medicine, or even health supplements, this is a crucial conversation to have with your children. If your children are old enough, take the time to explain how prescription medication misuse can have unforeseen consequences, such as an accidental overdose and the development of psychological or physical dependence.
Convincing small children to take medication can be a major challenge, especially if it has an unpleasant taste. However, comparing their medication to candy or any of their other favorite foods is a dangerous tactic, as it could lead your child to want to take more of the medication than their recommended dosage. And of course, this can lead to an accidental overdose.
Explaining the purpose of the medication with words such as “cure” or “treatment” can help children think about medicine in the correct context, so they understand it’s not an anytime food. You should make it clear that all medications should only be taken under adult supervision when a person is ill or injured. Otherwise, these medications can actually cause more harm than good.
Keep Medications Out of Reach
Children are most likely to experience accidental medication poisoning when they’re between the ages of 15 to 30 months. At this young age, children are learning to move through the world on their own and developing more advanced motor skills. As a result, parents must ensure that any medications or supplements are kept out of reach.
Try to store your medications, vitamins, and other health supplements in places that small children cannot access easily, such as high shelves and cabinets. These cabinets should also have child-resistant locks. To further ensure that even older children or adults cannot access your medications, all tablet or capsule medicines should be stored in Safe Rx Locking Pill Bottles.
Store Medications in Secure Pill Bottles
Keeping your medications and supplements in a safe, secure environment is a key component of medicine safety for kids, but sometimes, storing your medications in a tall cabinet isn’t sufficient. What if you need to travel with your medications? Some people also prefer to keep their medications on their nightstand or another visible area to ensure that they don’t forget to take them. And sometimes, creative, curious children will find a way to get ahold of your medications or supplements even when they’re in a hard-to-reach place.
In these instances, Safe Rx Locking Pill Bottles are the ideal solution to ensure that your medications are safe at all times. With Safe Rx Locking Pill Bottles, you can rest assured that your prescription medications, vitamin supplements, and OTC medications are inaccessible to young children, teens, and even other adults. This is because Safe Rx Locking Pill Bottles utilize a 4-digit code, which prevents anyone except the owner from taking the medications inside.
Supervise Your Children When Administering Medications
When you’re administering medications to children, it’s important to supervise your child throughout the entire process and follow your healthcare provider’s instructions closely. Your child’s dosage may vary depending on their weight and age, so check the label for details before providing medicine.
Although it may be tempting to alleviate your child’s illness immediately with any medication that you have on hand or by using a greater dose than is recommended, this can have harmful consequences. If you don’t fully understand the dosage instructions, call the pharmacist or your child’s healthcare provider to confirm the information.
Keep the Poison Help Number in Your Home
Lastly, make sure that you keep the Poison Help number, 1-800-222-1222, in a visible area in your home. Most people keep this number posted on their fridge or another common area. Specialists at the poison control center provide confidential, trustworthy medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They can offer advice about how to administer medication and what to do if medication misuse occurs. But if you think you may be dealing with a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.
Partner with Safe Rx for Baby Safety Month
Baby Safety Month is the perfect time to assess your everyday routines around storing and administering medications. Whether you’re a parent, teacher, or another caregiver, keeping medications safe, secure, and out-of-reach is the first step to keeping children safe from misuse.
At Safe Rx, we’re dedicated to supporting medication safety to prevent misuse and accidental overdoses. That’s why Safe Rx Locking Pill Bottles allow you to protect your prescription medications and other pills with a secure 4-digit code.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Safe Rx can assist in medication safety and childcare, contact us today.