Many parents may think that they're smart about where they store medications, but we're here to tell you that children are smarter.
According to a study done by Safe Kids Worldwide, almost 60,000 young kids are rushed to the hospital every year after getting their hands on medicine that is not meant for them.
Morag Mackay, director of research for Safe Kids Worldwide said that: “Nine out of 10 parents know that medicine should be stored up and away and out of reach and sight, every time. But we found that 7 out of 10 of them admitted to not doing that.”
We're all guilty of it, and the study revealed that parents leave medication out on kitchen counters, sinks and couches, believing babies and toddlers aren't tall enough or strong enough to reach it.
Unfortunately, they probably can.
“Children as young as a month have ended up in an emergency department because they'd been poisoned by getting into a medicine that was left within reach,” said Morag, which is rather alarming.
The new Safe Kids Worldwide report includes a survey of 2,000 parents with children under age six. While the number of children visiting an emergency department for accidental poisonings has declined since the 2010 peak, the decline has slowed in recent years.
Prescription and over-the-counter medications cause the most severe poisonings, but vitamins and supplements can also cause problems.
Thankfully, there are steps that families can take to lower the risk for an accidental medication poisoning, such as:
- Keep all prescription and over-the-counter medicines out of reach and out of sight of children, preferably in a locked container or cabinet
- Remind guests to put purses and bags that might contain medication up high, not on couches or the floor
- Set an alarm on your phone as a reminder to take medication multiple times a day, rather than leaving it on the counter for convenience
It is important to remember that kids can get into places you can’t imagine they’ll get into, so always be vigilant.