Medicine Safety: a crucial detail when it comes to child-proofing your home
Maybe you’ve secured your drawers, TVs, and bookshelves. You’ve put away and hidden your kitchen knives and power tools. You’ve stashed your medicine in the medicine cabinet. You’ve secured the lid of your toilet with a lock, you’ve put away your electric cords, and covered your electrical sockets.
You’ve done everything you can, so you should be done, right? Maybe not.
When parents think about child-proofing their home, they forget one crucial detail-- hiding the medicine. Sure, we talked about putting your medicine in the medicine cabinet, but what about the medicine you keep in your purse or wallet? Your drawer? What about your nightstand? We usually keep frequently used medicine in convenient places and this can inadvertently fall into the hands of a child.
In fact, according to a recent study by Safe Kids Worldwide, almost 52,000 children under the age of six were treated in ERs for medicine poisoning in 2017. 84% of those kids were between 1 to 3-years old.
So what can you do to keep children safe around medicine? The study recommends four things.
Add medicine safety to your initial child-proofing checklist
It may be surprising, but a lot of parents are prone to downplay the importance of medicine safety when it comes to child-proofing. This is because they’re too busy taking care of things like sharp and heavy objects or electronics, cords, and power sockets.
If you add medicine safety to your child-proofing list, you’ll be more cautious and conscious of where you keep and store your medicine.
Keep medicine and vitamins out of children’s reach and sight, even medicine you take everyday
Where you store and keep your medicine are two entirely different things. On one hand, you might store your medicine in a medicine cabinet where it will be far from your child’s reach. On the other hand, you might keep the medicine you take everyday in convenient spots like your purse or wallet, your bag, your counter-top, or your nightstand. Your child is more prone to accidentally finding medicine in this case.
Again, parents must practice consciousness when it comes to these things. If you know you keep medicine in your bag, make sure to put your bag away from your child’s reach. If you keep medicine in your nightstand, make sure to lock the drawer, and so on.
Save the Poison Help number on your phone and post it visibly at home
In the Philippines, we can call the National Poison Control Center (PGH) at 524-1078 or dial 554-8400 loc. 3276 or have the contact details of any hospital near you. If you have an emergency, you are armed with the knowledge of knowing who to contact, and perhaps you can call them or ask your doctor on how to handle poison emergencies.
Share medicine safety information with family and friends.
Teach your family members, friends, and babysitters about medicine safety and make sure they know the Poison Help number.