Many adults invest in youth on a daily basis, and for some, it is a full-time job. New parents often work hard to make their home safe for their child. As children age, some of the more obvious dangers can be overlooked, such as access to medications.
Is your cabinet filled with medications used daily? Are they kept in a safe place where others cannot access them? Did you know that one of the most dangerous places in your home can be your prescription cabinet?
If prescription medications are not disposed of or stored properly, they could be accessed by small children, stolen, and/or re-sold by family members or friends. In fact, 70% of nonmedical prescription pain reliever users obtained their drugs from a friend or relative.
- Put all medicines up and away and out of sight including your own.
- Consider places where kids get into medicine.
- Close your medicine caps tightly after every use.
- Talk with your children about the dangers of using medication without a prescription.
- Set household standards and rules for medication use.
- Do not share medication.
Last Resort Disposal Methods
If there are no take back programs in your area, follow these simple steps to dispose of most medicines in the household trash:
- Mix medicines (do not crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as dirt, kitty litter, or used coffee grounds;
- Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag;
- Throw the container in your household trash;
- Scratch out all personal information on the prescription label of your empty pill bottle or empty medicine packaging to make it unreadable, then dispose of the container.
Flushing certain medications can be harmful to the environment, prior to disposing of any medication by toilet or sink, please visit www.fda.gov to assure the medications are safe to be disposed of in that method.
Take Back Programs are working. Non-medical use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs continues to decline among the nation's youth.
In 3 out of 4 emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the child got into medicine belonging to a parent or grandparent.