Children are curious by nature and it makes sense that they would be curious about medication. Many medications look and even taste like candy. When your child needs medication, it is important to provide it safety and effectively. We want them to learn to about and be aware of medication, but we also want them to be careful. Here are a few tips to keep your little one healthy and safe.
The hard facts
Medications are the leading cause of child poisoning. An estimated 53,000 children less than 5 years old are brought to emergency departments each year. Almost all of these visits are because the child got into medicines while their parents or caregiver was not looking.
- Put medicine up and away out of reach of children. Make sure that all medication and vitamins are stored in cabinets that your child cannot easily access or place in a childproof cabinet out of sight.
- When purchasing over the counter (OTC) medicine, make sure you are buying the children's version of that product. Medication that adults and children take are different and so are the dosing instructions. To prevent over medicating, read the labels carefully before administering to your child.
- Put the toll free number for the Poison Control Center, 800-222-1222 into your home phone and cellphone. You should also post it near your phone or on your refrigerator so a caregiver or baby sitter can see it easily.
To learn more about medication safety, read the safety material below:
Medication Safety Fact Card 2013 (PDF, 2.4 MB)
Medication Safety Research Study (PDF, 1.4 MB)
Medication Safety Tip Sheet (PDF, 219 KB)
Up and Away Medicine Storage Safety (PDF, 290 KB)
Up and Away Grandparents Safety (PDF, 466 KB)
Up and Away Travel Safety (PDF, 48 KB)