WASHINGTON--(An In-Depth Look at Keeping Young Children Safe Around Medicines,” released today from Safe Kids Worldwide, seven of 10 emergency department visits for medicine poisonings are due to curious young children getting into their grandparent’s or mother’s medicine that was left within reach. The report notes one of the most effective ways to reverse this trend is through safe medicine storage at home and when traveling.)--According to the new report “
“This report clearly reinforces that parents and caregivers must always keep medicines and vitamins up and away and out of sight of young children—every time they are used, especially those used every day”
“This report clearly reinforces that parents and caregivers must always keep medicines and vitamins up and away and out of sight of young children—every time they are used, especially those used every day,” said Emily Skor, vice president of communications and alliance development at the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA). The report states that of children who visited emergency rooms in 2011 due to medicine poisonings, in 67 percent of the cases the medication was left within reach of the child in a purse, on a nightstand or counter, on the ground or in a misplaced area like under a sofa cushion.
“Young children are curious, and they can quickly get into medicines or vitamins when parents and caregivers aren't looking. We encourage everyone who spends time with small children to look at your home through the eyes of a child and to pick a place to store medicines and vitamins that is high up, out of a child’s reach and sight,” continued Skor.
To remind parents, grandparents and caregivers about the importance of safe medicine storage, the CHPA Educational Foundation in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its PROTECT Initiative launched the Up and Away and Out of Sight safe medicine storage educational campaign.
“Young children are curious and they can quickly get into medicines or vitamins when parents and caregivers aren't looking. We know that, unfortunately, many children have to visit the emergency room because of accidental medication exposure,” said Dr. Dan Budnitz, director of CDC’s Medication Safety Program in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion. “To help combat these preventable harms, the Up and Away and Out of Sight campaign gives parents and caregivers the information they need to store medicine safely and protect children. A few simple steps – followed every time – can keep children safe from harm.”
These steps include:
- Store medicines in a safe location that is too high for young children to reach or see.
- Never leave medicine or vitamins out on a kitchen counter or at a sick child’s bedside, even if you have to take or give the medicine again in a few hours.
- Always relock the safety cap on a medicine bottle. If it has a locking cap that turns, twist it until you hear the click or you cannot twist anymore.
- Tell children what medicine is and why you must be the one to give it to them.
- Never tell children medicine is candy so they’ll take it, even if your child does not like to take his or her medicine.
- Remind babysitters, houseguests, and visitors to keep purses, bags, or coats that have medicines in them up and away and out of sight when they are in your home.
- Program the Poison Help number 1-800-222-1222 into your home and cell phones so you will have it when you need it.
About Up and Away and Out of Sight
Up and Away and Out of Sight is an educational program to remind families of the importance of safe medicine storage. All medicines and vitamins should always be kept up and away and out of a child's reach and sight – every time they are used. Up and Away and Out of Sight is part of the PROTECT Initiative, developed in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) Educational Foundation.
About the PROTECT Initiative
The PROTECT Initiative is an innovative collaboration bringing together public health agencies, private sector companies, professional organizations, consumer/patient advocates, and academic experts to develop strategies to keep children safe from unintentional medication overdoses.
CHPA is the 132-year-old trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements.