Medication and Supplement Poisoning

Sweet Poison: Protecting your Child from Medication and Supplement Poisoning

11589494_mSo many medicines look, taste, and even smell like candy, making them very enticing for young children. It does not matter if it is meant for children or adults, prescription or over-the-counter (OTC), if a child gets hold of medication or supplements, she can quickly ingest enough to be seriously injured or die from poisoning. In fact, medications are the leading cause of child poisoning in the U.S.

Basic Medication and Supplement Safety Tips

  • Keep all medications and supplements where your child cannot reach or even see them. That includes the medications and vitamins your child takes.
  • Do not take medicine in front of your children. They may mimic you.
  • Keep all medications in their original packaging.
  • Ask your pharmacist for child-proof packaging and use it.
  • Remember that child-proof packaging only slows them down and they can still get into it, so use the same precautions you would with easy open bottles.
  • If you have guests, including relatives and close friends, ask them to keep purses, coats, and any other items containing medications out of sight and reach of your children.
  • Never call medicine “candy.” Find another way to coax your child into taking it.
  • Always use the dosing device provided with the medication. Kitchen spoons and even measuring spoons do not always give the same dose, even if they should.
  • Never measure your child’s medicine in the dark.
  • Do not give your child two medicines with the same active ingredient without talking to your doctor or pharmacist about it first.

Getting Help

If you suspect that your child may have ingested medications, supplements, or any potentially poisonous substance, call Poison Control immediately at 1-800-222-1222. We recommend programming the number into all of your phones and keeping it posted in a visible place, like your fridge. They can also help if you have questions about how to give your child medicine.

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