Put Your Medicines Up and Away and Out of Sight
About 60,000 young children end up in emergency rooms each year because they got into medicines while an adult wasn’t looking. These emergency visits can be prevented by always putting every medicine up and away and out of children’s reach and sight every time you use it.
Families take medications and vitamins to feel well and to stay well. However, any medication, including those you buy without a prescription, can cause harm if taken in the wrong way or by the wrong person. Practicing safe medication storage, while at home and when on-the-go, can help keep children safe.
Protect your children. Here’s how:
- Put medicines up and away and out of children’s reach and sight.
- Children 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 things that could hurt them.
- Pick a storage place in your home that children 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 medicines up and away and out of children’s reach and sight.
Always relock the cap on a medicine bottle.
- Put medicines away every time.
- This includes medicines and vitamins you use every day. Never leave medicine out on a kitchen counter or at a sick child’s bedside, even if you have to give it again in a few hours.
- 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 or cannot twist anymore.
- Remember, even though many medicines have safety caps, children may be able to open them. Every medicine must be stored up and away and out of children’s reach and sight.
- Teach your children about medicine safety.
- Teach your children what medicine is and why you or a trusted adult must be the one to give it to them.
- Never tell children medicine is candy to get them to take it, even if they don’t like to take their medicine.
- Tell your guests about medicine safety.
- Ask family members, houseguests, and other 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.
- Be prepared in case of an emergency.
- Call your poison control center at 800.222.1222 right away if you think your child might have gotten into a medicine or vitamin, even if you are not completely sure.
- Program the Poison Help number into your home and cell phones so you will have it when you need it.
- Take Action.
- Visit the Up and Away Campaign’s website to learn more about storing medications safely while at home and when traveling with young children. Share these safe storage tips with family and friends.
- Page last reviewed: June 29, 2018
- Page last updated: June 13, 2016
- Content source:
- National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion
- Page maintained by: Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs