Is your medicine cabinet childproof?
If you thought your medicine safety caps would keep your kids from getting into in them, think again. A recent study showed that children as young as age two were able to open bottles with child resistant caps.
Experts say this is a huge eye-opener for parents who need to realize these caps are not childproof, only child-resistant.
In fact, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, child-resistant caps only need to keep out about 80 percent of kids under age five.
And there is even more disturbing news, a report released by Safe Kids Worldwide shows more children are being rushed to hospital emergency rooms across the country—poisoned by common household medications.
According to the data, there’s been a stunning 30 percent spike in children accidentally poisoned by medication in the past decade. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 60,000 kids end up in the ER each year because they are able to get into medicine bottles.
Dr. Rosalind Downing, pediatrician at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill., says the report is a great reminder for parents to be extra cautious at home.
“Even over-the-counter medication can pose serious danger to children at any age,” she says. “That’s why I recommend parents childproof their homes as soon as their babies turn six-months-old.”
The CDC also offers these five safety tips to parents and caregivers:
- Store medicines and vitamins away and out of reach of children.
Kids are curious and put all sorts of things in their mouths. Even if you turn your back for less than a minute, they can quickly get into something that could hurt them.
- Be prepared in case of an emergency.
Save the Poison Control number into your cell phone 800.222.1222.
- Make sure medicine safety caps are locked.
Always relock the cap on a medicine bottle. If the bottle has a locking cap that turns, twist it until you hear the click.
- Teach your children about medicine safety.
It’s important to let your children know what medicine is and why they should never take it alone. Let your kids know who has permission to give them medicine.
- Make sure your house guests are informed about medicine safety.
Ask visitors to keep purses, bags, or coats that have medicine away and out of sight when they are in your home.
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.