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Drug Resource Center
Pill-Proofing Your Home
Pill-Proofing Your Home
One scare is all it takes to become a crusader for poison-proofing your home. Better yet, don't wait for that one close call.
InteliHealth Medical Content
|One scare is all it takes to become a crusader for poison-proofing your home. Better yet, don't wait for that one close call. The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend the following precautions to protect your children from swallowing medicines that can harm or kill them. |
Note that there now is one toll-free poison control number (1-800-222-1222) for the whole nation. No matter where you live (and even when you are away from home), you can dial this number to reach the poison control center nearest you.
- Keep all medicines out of sight from your kids.
- Make sure all medicines are in their original containers with child-resistant lids. Remember, child-resistant doesn't mean childproof, so store all medicines in a locked cabinet or in a drawer with a safety latch.
- Never leave pills or any other dangerous substances on the counter or in plastic bags.
- Always replace the safety cap on a medicine immediately after using it.
- Keep purses and diaper bags out of your child's reach. Make sure grandma and other caregivers know to keep their purses out of your child's reach, too.
- Don't take your own medicines in front of your children. Kids like to copy what you do.
- Never refer to medicine as candy even if you think it'll help your children swallow their own prescriptions. Kids may be more inclined to eat medicine if they think it's candy.
- Watch your child more closely when you visit another person's home, even a grandparent's home. It may not be childproofed.
- Post the number for the poison control center (1-800-222-1222) near your telephones and make sure every caregiver knows where to find it. Call this number to get expert advice on how to handle any poisoning. Call 911 (or your local emergency number) if your child is unresponsive, not breathing or having convulsions (seizures).
- The American Academy of Pediatrics no longer recommends that you keep a bottle of syrup of ipecac in your home in case of accidental poisoning because other more effective treatments are available. Ipecac, which makes someone throw up (vomit), sometimes has been given to treat certain types of poisoning but can be dangerous when used incorrectly.
- If you live far from the nearest hospital (more than 20-30 minutes away), your doctor still may recommend ipecac, which soon will be available only by prescription. Remember that ipecac should never be given unless recommended by the poison control center or your pediatrician.
Last updated October 28, 2003