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10 tips to prevent children from accessing medications

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following 10 tips to keep medications out of the hands of children.
1. Store all medications in a cupboard or high shelf, well out of a child’s sight. In about half of over-the-counter medication poisonings, the child climbed onto a chair, toy or other object to reach the medication.

2. Keep medicines in their original containers, with child-safety caps.

3. If there are controlled substances (like prescription pain medications or ADHD medicine) consider using a locked box for extra safety.

4. Keep track of how many pills are in the bottle and write the start date on the label. This way, if a spill occurs, you’ll know if any are missing.

5. When giving your child medicine, lean over a counter or table. This helps contain any accidental spills.

6. Any medication can be dangerous, so treat all products with the same respect. We worry about opioids, but some blood pressure and diabetes medications can be fatal to a toddler who swallows only one pill.

7. If a medication spills, vacuum or sweep the area as an extra precaution to ensure nothing is missed.

8. Dispose of unused medications—especially opioids—at pharmacies, drug "take back" programs or doctors’ offices.

9. Know basic first aid and keep the Poison Center Number (1-800-222-1222) stored in your phone.

10. Get into the practice of safe medication storage, starting as soon as your baby is born.

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