Kids and Medicine: Protect Your Family from Accidental Poisonings

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Be Prepared

  • Put the poison help number, 1-800-222-1222, on or near every home telephone and save it on your cell phone. The line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Be Smart about Storage

    • Store all medicines and household products up and away and out of sight in a cabinet where a child cannot reach them.
    • When you are taking or giving medicines or are using household products:
      • Do not put your next dose on the counter or table where children can reach them—it only takes seconds for a child to get them.
      • If you have to do something else while taking medicine, such as answer the phone, take any young children with you.
      • Secure the child safety cap completely every time you use a medicine.
      • After using them, do not leave medicines or household products out.  As soon as you are done with them,  put them away and out of sight in a cabinet where a child cannot reach them.
      • Be aware of any legal or illegal drugs that guests may bring into your home. Ask guests to store drugs where children cannot find them.  Children can easily get into pillboxes, purses, backpacks, or coat pockets.

Proper Disposal

For more information on proper disposal, please see the FDA’s web site, Disposal of Unused Medicines: What You Should KnowExternal Web Site Icon.

Other Tips

      • Do not call medicine “candy.”

What To Do If A Poisoning Occurs

    • Remain calm.
    • Call 911 if you have a poison emergency and the victim has collapsed or is not breathing. If the victim is awake and alert, dial 1-800-222-1222. Try to have this information ready:
      • the victim’s age and weight
      • the container or bottle of the poison if available
      • the time of the poison exposure
      • the address where the poisoning occurred
    • Stay on the phone and follow the instructions from the emergency operator or poison control center.
The above is an excerpt adapted from the article, “Tips to Prevent Poisonings.” For more information, please visit www.cdc.gov.

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