(NewsUSA) – September 10 is Grandparents’ Day! It’s a time to celebrate the special bond between grandparents (or great-grandparents and other caregivers!) and grandkids. You can show your grandkids how much you care — and help them stay safe— by keeping medicines up and away when you spend time together.
In 2020, about 35,000 children under the age of 5 years were brought to emergency rooms after getting into medicine that was left within reach. More than 70% of these children were 2 years of age or younger – a stage that involves exploring their surroundings and often putting things into their mouths. However, children (and pets!) can get sick if they swallow medicines, vitamins, or other supplements they’re not supposed to have, including gummies.
“Medicines often come in bright colors that look like candy and gummy formulations can look, smell, and taste like the fruit snacks that many toddlers enjoy,” says Mike Bell, MD, Deputy Director, CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion. “It may be tempting to leave your next dose of medication out so that you remember to take it, but when young children are around, it’s important to keep all medicines out of their reach and sight.”
This Grandparents’ Day, the Up and Away campaign of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-led PROTECT Initiative, is reminding grandparents and caregivers to keep medication safety top of mind any time they are caring for, visiting, or preparing for a visit from their grandkids.
Follow these tips to help your grandkids stay safe:
- Grandkids coming over? Take time to sweep or vacuum the floor before they arrive. It’s easy for pills to fall on the floor and roll out of sight where young children (or pets) could find them.
- Whether you’re at home or visiting with family, put medicines up and away in a place your grandkids can’t see or reach. For example, you can put them in a high cabinet or on a high closet shelf rather than leaving medications on a nightstand, bathroom, or kitchen counter.
- If you carry medicines with you in your bag or purse, keep them in child-resistant containers — and keep your bag or purse where young kids can’t see or reach it.
Learn more about how to keep medicines somewhere safe at UpAndAway.org.
If you think a child might have swallowed a medicine, vitamin, or other supplement, get help right away — even if you’re not sure. Call Poison Help at 800-222-1222 or go to PoisonHelp.org.