Never underestimate the risk of accidental poisoning in children. Most people think of household chemicals when they think of accidental poisonings, but medicines are also a common cause. Below are just a few tips for the safe handling of medicines in your home.
- Learn the names of all the medicines in your home.
- Ask for and use child-resistant containers for all your medicines.
- Keep all medicines locked up and out of sight.
- Keep medicines in their original containers.
- Do not refer to medicines as “candy.”
- Clean out your medicine cabinet often and safely dispose of expired or leftover medicines.
If you suspect that someone has ingested a poisonous substance, call the Poison Control Center right away. The national toll-free telephone number is 1-800-222-1222. It is offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This hotline can connect you to your local poison control center.
Shane Cross, PharmD, St. Jude Pharmaceutical Services
Adapted from St. Jude Parents Newsletter, May 2013