Some products (for example, gummy vitamins) can trick a child into thinking that medicines are food or candy, so many poisonings happen with medications. For a child, taking even a small amount of the wrong medicine can be deadly.
Keeping Children Safe
- DO keep medicines and chemicals in a locked or safe place where children cannot see or reach. This includes medicines you apply to your skin (e.g., nitroglycerin cream, menthol rubs, etc), natural supplements, vitamins, etc.
- DO put medicines away right after taking them. Child-resistant containers might slow children down, but they can still be opened.
- DO safely dispose of any ipecac syrup you may have. It should no longer be used for poisonings.
- DON’T take medicine with children watching. They like to copy adults.
- DON’T call medicine candy or say that it tastes like candy.
- DON’T let guests leave medicines where children can find them, like a purse, coat pocket, or unlocked suitcase.
- DON’T put chemicals or cleaners in bottles or cups. These can be confused for drinks.
- DON’T put your next dose of medicine on the counter or anywhere children can reach it.
- DON’T leave children alone with medicines. It only takes a second for a child to get it.
- DON’T throw away medicine patches, e-cigarette containers, or other medicines where children can find them. Fold used medicine patches with the sticky sides together. Even used patches can contain enough medicine to hurt a child if chewed or stuck to their skin.
- DON’T keep medicines you no longer need. Ask your pharmacist for the best way to get rid of them.
What to Do if a Poisoning Happens
- Don’t give the person anything to treat the poisoning or make them throw up.
- Call 911 if the person has passed out, is not breathing, has a hard time breathing, or has a seizure.
- If the person is awake, call the poison control system at 1-800-222-1222.
Content taken from Pharmacist’s Letter.