Keeping kids safe: Properly storing prescription medicines

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April 28, 2016
Young boy opening prescription bottles

The U.S. public has consistently expressed great concern about drug abuse as one of the top 10 U.S. child health problems since 2007. While intentional drug abuse among children and teens is a major problem nationally, there is also a danger of unintentional poisoning from medications due to improper storage and easy access for children.

In a 2012 NPCH Report, 79% of parents and 85% of grandparents of young kids report having prescription pain medicine at home. Grandparents are 4 times more likely than parents to keep prescription medicine in easy-access places such as kitchen counters (Figure 1). About two-thirds of adults overall said they would support potential new laws that would require medicines to be packaged as single doses.

Figure 1. Proportions of parents & grandparents of young children who store medicines in easy-access places

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To keep children safe, parents and grandparents are urged to keep medicine out of reach of young children, in child-safe containers. This Saturday, April 30th is the eleventh annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This annual event encourages the appropriate and safe disposal of unused or unwanted prescription drugs. Visit the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s website to find a collection site near you.

What do you think?
How do you store your prescription drugs? Have you ever participated in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day? Share your thoughts in the comments below and on Facebook and Twitter @MottNPCH.

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