Medicine safety tips to remember with kids in the house

Medicine safety tips to remember with kids in the house
By: UnitedHealthcare Last Updated: July 8, 2020

Many families are living a new normal with children in the house all day. As many parents are having to split their attention between work, childcare and maintaining the household, keeping your kids safe at home is more important than ever – including safely storing your medicines. 

Every hour, 5 children under age 6 are rushed to the emergency department for medication poisonings, many due to unsafe storage practices. Safe Kids Worldwide is committed to educating parents and caregivers on the things they need to know to help keep kids safe around medicines.

Here are five medicine safety tips from Safe Kids Worldwide: 

  1. Keep medicine up and away, out of reach and sight of children.
    This includes medicines and vitamins you use every day and may keep in convenient locations. When children are exploring, they may find pills in purses, nightstands or drawers. Put all medicines and vitamins where kids can’t reach or see them.
  2. Child-resistant packaging is not child-proof. 
    A child-resistant medicine container may slow down a child, but it is not childproof. Some children may still be able to get into these containers. That is why it is important to put medicines up and away after every use, even if you or your child needs another dose in a few hours.
  3. Keep medicine safety on your child-proofing checklist. 
    As your child grows older and learns new things, continue to assess your medicine safety practices. You may need to continue to change where you store medicine as your child learns new skills and becomes more mobile. 
  4. Save the Poison Help number in your phone: 1-800-222-1222.
    Specialists at poison help centers provide free, confidential, expert medical advice 24 hours a day. They can help answer questions about medicine or assist with poison emergencies. 
  5. Share medicine safety information with friends and family.
    When kids are with other caregivers, such as grandparents, babysitters, or other family members, it is important that all adults know how to keep kids safe around medicine. Share these tips and resources with them too. 

You can also download these free resources:

Visit SafeKids.org for more medicine safety tips and resources, as well as other ways you can help prevent childhood injury and keep your kids safe.

The Safe Kids Worldwide® Medicine Safety Program is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. Johnson & Johnson is the founding sponsor of Safe Kids Worldwide®. Safe Kids Worldwide® does not endorse any products or services.