Visiting Grandma is fun, but can be dangerous because medicines may be out and easily accessible. You have childproofed your home, how about grandma’s?
- Older adults will often have their medicines sitting out on tables and nightstands and counters and sinks because seeing their medicines reminds them to take them
- Older adults have difficulty opening the “child resistant” tops on medicine bottles so they leave the tops loose or remove them all together
- Weekly medicine boxes filled with lots of pills have tops that easily flip open
- Older adults think that over-the-counter medicines are not dangerous and do not store them in safe places
- Older adults have many chronic illnesses requiring very potent and dangerous medicines
Did you know?
- Only 1 pill of some medicines can be deadly
- Unintentional poisonings from medicines cause more emergency room visits for young children each year than do car accidents
- “Every 10 minutes a young child in the U.S. is taken to the emergency room because of possible poisoning from swallowing a prescription or over-the-counter medicine”
- In one recent study, 23 % of grandparents reported storing prescription medicine in easy-to-access places, including daily-dose boxes that children can open and 18% percent of grandparents store over-the-counter medicines in easily accessible spots
- Many prescription pills resemble candy and children cannot tell the difference
- Among teenagers who are 12 to 17 years old, 7.4 % reported past-year nonmedical use of prescription medications
- One in every five teens were abusing prescription medicines in 2009, and one in every four teens in 2010
What can you do?
- Ask grandparents, aunts and uncles to move all of their medicines to a safe and secure area while your children (including teenagers) are visiting their home
- Always check around the house when you visit for any medicines that may be sitting out. Put them away in a secure safe place during the visit, but remember to put them back where you found them before you leave
- Medicine cabinets are easily accessible by both small children and teenagers so be aware of what is stored there
- Always call your local Poison Center if you suspect that any medicine has been taken or maybe missing
In Good Health,