Put Your Medicines Up and Away and Out of Sight

March 17-23 is National Poison Prevention Week

Pomona, NY – County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef and the Rockland County Department of Health want to help you keep your children safe from medicines and vitamins that could cause them harm. Poison Prevention week, March 17- 23, is a great time to remind you how to do that!

Any medicine and vitamins, even ones you buy without a prescription, can cause harm if taken in the wrong way or by the wrong person. “More than 60,000 young children end up in emergency rooms each year because they got into medicines while their caregiver wasn’t looking. Children have faster metabolisms than adults and anything they eat or drink is absorbed into their bloodstream very quickly,” said Kathleen M. Henry, R.N., M.A., Acting Commissioner of Health.

Protect your child by following these important safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

· Put all medicines and vitamins up and away – out of reach and out of sight.

Pick a storage place in your home that your child cannot reach or see. Different families will have different places. Walk around your house and decide on the safest place to keep your medicines and vitamins.

· Put all medicines and vitamins away every time.

This includes medicines and vitamins you use every day. Never leave them out on a kitchen counter or at a sick child’s bedside, even if you have to give the medicine again in a few hours

· Hear the click to make sure the safety cap is 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. Remember, even though many medicines have safety caps, children may be able to open them.

· Teach your children about medicine safety.

Teach your children what medicine is and why you must be the one to give it to them. Never tell children medicine is candy to get them to take it, even if your child doesn’t like to take his or her medicine.

· Tell your guests about medicine safety.

Ask houseguests, babysitters and visitors to keep purses, bags, or coats that have medicine in them up and away and out of sight when they are in your home. They should also put all medicines and vitamins up and away in their own home when children are visiting them.

· Be prepared in case of an emergency.

Program the poison control center number, 800-222-1222 into your home and cell phones so you will have it when you need it.

For more information visit www.UpAndAway.org or call the Childhood Injury Prevention Program at the Rockland County Department of Health at 845-364-3865.