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Medicine safety and children

Medication safety; Poison control - medicine safety

Every year, many children are brought to the emergency room because they took medicine by accident. A lot of medicine is made to look and taste like candy. Children are curious and attracted to medicine.

Most children find the medicine when their parent or caregiver is not looking. You can prevent accidents by keeping medicine locked up, out of reach, and out of sight. Be very careful if you have toddlers around.

Keep Medicines out of Reach and Sight

Safety tips:

What to do if Your Child Takes Medicine

If you think your child has taken medicine, call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. It is open 24 hours a day.

Go to the nearest emergency room. Your child may need:

Preventing Medicine Mistakes

When giving medicine to your young child, follow these safety tips:

When to Call the Doctor

Call the doctor if:

References

American Academy of Pediatrics, Healthy Children.org website. Medication safety tips. www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-home/medication-safety/Pages/Medication-Safety-Tips.aspx. Updated September 15, 2015. Accessed February 9, 2021.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Put your medicines up and away and out of sight. www.cdc.gov/patientsafety/features/medication-storage.html. Updated June 10, 2020. Accessed February 9, 2021.

US Food & Drug Administration website. Where and how to dispose of unused medicines. www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/where-and-how-dispose-unused-medicines. Updated October 9, 2020. Accessed February 9, 2021.

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Review Date: 10/2/2020  

Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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