The CDC Urges Parents to Put Medicine Up and Away!

My meds on a high shelf – note proximity to ceiling. Disregard how ugly the cabinet is.

June is National Safety Month and the CDC is using the opportunity to encourage parents to put medications out of reach of children. The recently launched the PROTECT Initiative to raise awareness about the danger of kids gaining access to drugs int he home:

Over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications are commonly used for people of all ages. This frequency of use increases the potential for unintentional (accidental) overdoses. Children are especially vulnerable to unintentional overdoses, most of which can be prevented. Data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-Cooperative Adverse Event Surveillance System (NEISS-CADES) project estimated that each year in the United States:

  • Over 70,000 emergency department (ED) visits result from unintentional medication overdoses among children under the age of 18

  • One out of every 151 two-year-olds is treated in an ED for an unintentional medication overdose

  • Over 80% of ED visits among children under the age of 12 are due to unsupervised children taking medications on their own and 10% of ED visits in this age group are due to medication errors

  • Over-the-counter medications are involved in approximately one-third of ED visits among children under the age of 12

That’s terrifying and it hit way to close to home for me. I realized a bottle of Advil on a kitchen counter and allergy meds stashed in a bathroom cabinet, either of which could be accessed by my 5 year old. I just took a few minutes to stash all the medicine in the house on a high shelf and, to mak it even safer, I’ll be buying a child-lock for the door of the cabinet it’s all kept in.

The CDC really wants to raise awareness of this easily preventable danger and they’re asking parents to share photos of the medicines safely store away from kids using the hashtag #MedsUpAwayIf you hit up my Twitter feed this week, you’ll see me reminding everyone about it and encouraging others to sore med safely.

Where do you keep medicines to keep them out of reach of kids?

Photo credit: Author

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