A staggering 800,000 children are treated in emergency rooms across the country each year due to accidental poisoning. Of these cases, more than 90 percent occur in the home, meaning not at school or elsewhere. While many household items are poisonous to children, including cleaning supplies, gardening supplies and art supplies, a large percentage of poisoned children become ill after ingesting medications that belong to their grandparents. In fact, nearly 20 percent of cases involving medication are somehow tied to a grandparent. If you're a grandparent, you have to do all you can to keep your grandchildren safe around your medications. Here are a few ways you can do so.
Avoid Pill Containers
Pill boxes and pill organizers are great if you can't remember what pills you need to take at what time. However, they are easy for a child to get into and should be avoided if you have grandchildren who visit you in your home. If you have to use a pill organizer, make sure it's locked away in a safe or put away in a locked medicine cabinet at all times.
If you must carry medications with you in your purse or bag, be sure to keep them in their original child-resistant bottles and packaging. Pill boxes and plastic baggies offer no resistance to a curious child. And if you think your grandchild won't go in your purse, think again.
Use Medicine Cabinet
It is convenient to leave your medication on the counter, on a side table or in a kitchen cupboard. If you have grandchildren who visit, however, your medications should never be conveniently placed even if they are in child-resistant containers. Children can and will find a way to open bottles and packages that you may struggle to open. Always keep your medications in a locked medicine cabinet to prevent accidental poisoning.
Take Medications Immediately
Never place loose pills on a counter or table while you're getting a drink, answering the phone or going to the bathroom. Be sure to take all medications immediately once you remove them from the bottle. Take care to close the bottle tightly immediately after getting your medication out.
Some medications, such as heart medications and pain pills, can be deadly to a small child. If you have grandchildren, you owe it to them to manage your medications in a responsible way. Always keep your medications in child-resistant containers and lock them away in your medicine cabinet. Be careful taking your medications around your grandchildren as well. Contact a company like Affordable Custom Enclosures to see about getting a locking medicine cabinet.