Prevent Medication Poisonings in Your Home
Most parents know to keep chemicals and cleaning supplies away from children. Many poisonings also happen with medicines. Some products (e.g., gummy vitamins, marijuana edibles, etc) can trick a child into thinking they are food or candy. For a child, taking even a small amount of the wrong medicine can be deadly.
Safe Use of Medicines
• Read all the directions on the medicine bottle. Follow them carefully.
• Turn on the lights. Get your glasses. Be sure you have the right amount of the right medicine.
• Keep medicines in the child-resistant containers they come in.
• Never share or sell your prescription drugs.
Keeping Children Safe
• DO keep the poison center’s phone number beside all your telephones and in your cell phones. In the U.S., the number is 800-222-1222. In Canada, the number is different for each province. Find it in your local phone book or online at https://safemedicationuse.ca/tools_resources/poison_centres.html.
• DO keep medicines and chemicals in a locked or safe place where children cannot see or reach. This includes medicines you apply to your skin (e.g., nitroglycerin cream, menthol rubs, etc), natural supplements, vitamins, etc.
• DO put medicines away right after taking them. Child-resistant containers might slow children down, but they can still be opened.
• DO safely dispose of any ipecac syrup you may have. It should no longer be used for poisonings.
• DON’T take medicine with children watching. They like to copy adults.
• DON’T call medicine candy or say that it tastes like candy.
• DON’T let guests leave medicines where children can find them, like a purse, coat pocket, or unlocked suitcase.
• DON’T put chemicals or cleaners in bottles or cups. These can be confused for drinks.
• DON’T put your next dose of medicine on the counter or anywhere children can reach it.
• DON’T leave children alone with medicines. It only takes a second for a child to get it.
• DON’T throw away medicine patches, e-cigarette containers, or other medicines where children can find them. Fold used medicine patches with the sticky sides together. Even used patches can contain enough medicine to hurt a child if chewed or stuck to their skin.
• DON’T keep medicines you no longer need. Ask your pharmacist for the best way to get rid of them.
What to Do if a Poisoning Happens
• Stay calm.
• Don’t give the person anything to treat the poisoning or make them throw up.
• Call 911 if the person has passed out, is not breathing, has a hard time breathing, or has a seizure.
• If the person is awake, call your poison center.
• Stay on the phone and do what the emergency operator or poison center tells you.
[This may not cover all possible information. It does not replace the need for professional medical care. Always follow the instructions from your healthcare provider.] [March 2018; 340304]
Source: Copyright © 2018 by Therapeutic Research Center
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