Cold and Flu Season Tips to Keep Medicine out of Young Children’s Reach

(StatePoint) A recent study found that approximately three in four emergency visits for accidents related to over-the-counter cold and flu medicines among young children were made after a child got into the medicine on their own. Are all of your medicines kept somewhere safe? With a potentially tough cold and flu season upon us, experts are urging parents and caregivers to remember to keep medicines up and away and out of sight and reach of young children.

“During cold and flu season, seven in 10 people will reach for over-the-counter medicines to treat fevers, sinus headaches and other unwelcome symptoms. That’s a lot of additional medication in the home. Kids are curious, so parents and caregivers should take care to put medicines up and away, out of reach and sight of young children -- after every dose,” says Mary Leonard, managing director, Consumer Healthcare Products Association Educational Foundation.

The Up and Away campaign is an initiative of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its PROTECT Initiative, in partnership with the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Educational Foundation. The campaign aims to prevent accidental ingestion of medicine in young children by reminding families to follow these tips:

• Keep medicines, including those carried in purses, bags, pockets or pill organizers, in a safe location that is too high for curious, young children to reach or see.

• Never leave medicines or vitamins out on a counter, table or at a sick child’s bedside. To a young child, pills can look like candy and liquid medicines can look like sugary drinks.

• At home or away, keep medicines in child-resistant containers until right before you take them.

• If your medicine has a locking cap that turns, twist it until you can’t twist anymore or hear the “click.”

• Teach children what medicine is and why you or another caregiver must be the one to give it to them.

• Remind babysitters, houseguests, and visitors to keep purses, bags, suitcases or coats that have medicines in them up and away and out of sight when they’re in your home.

Save the Poison Help number (800-222-1222) in your phone, so you have it when and if you need it. Make sure that babysitters, older children, grandparents and frequent family visitors have this information too, in case there’s an emergency when they’re in charge. Call Poison Help right away if you think your child might have gotten into a medicine or vitamin, even if you are not completely sure. You can also visit poison.org. To learn more and for additional free resources, visit upandaway.org.

This cold and flu season and year-round, keep children safe by keeping medicine up and away and out of the sight and reach of young children.

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