This Post is Sponsored! Though I was compensated by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA’s) Educational Foundation in support of KnowYourOTCs.org, all opinions are my own! Thank You For Supporting CityGirlGoneMom!
I am no stranger to how life can change in the blink of an eye. Before I had children, I lost my Labrador when she ingested a bottle of fat burners left behind by the pet sitter. That feeling of your world screeching to a stop is gut-wrenchingly painful. Our dog was a family member and being in that raw, vulnerable, heartbroken place, could have absolutely been prevented.
Now I have four kids and two dogs and there is a constant stream of kid motion and tail wagging in my house! It’s up to us as parents to protect these little crusaders from any accidental injury. Unlike kids, adults can lean on common sense for protection against harmful intake. The truth is we wake up every day without knowing how life can change so quickly. All we can do is be prepared.
This week (March 18-24th) is National Poison Prevention Week, and there is no better time than NOW to make sure you safely store medicines and keep them properly up and away. That is why I have teamed up with The CHPA Educational Foundation’s Up & Away program, which educates parents and caregivers about the importance of the safe storage of medicines.
It’s horribly sad, but according to SafeKids, “almost every minute of every day there is a call to a poison control center because a young child got into a medicine.” As parents, we play a critical role in preventing accidental medication ingestions through safe medicine storage.
- Approximately 60,000 kids go to the emergency room every year because they got into medicines that were left within reach (this equals 4 school bus loads of kids every day).
- According to SafeKids, “7 in 10 parents report storing medicine within a child’s sight. Nearly 5 in 10 parents leave medicine out in a visible location between doses when their kids are sick.”
Steps Parents Can Take:
- Parents must teach their children what medicine is and that only a parent or caregiver should give it to them. Parents should never tell them that medicine, including vitamins, are candy, even if it encourages your child to take it. This is so important. A friend of mine’s daughter ingested a full bottle of vitamin gummies because she thought they were a treat. It’s important to teach children the difference between a fruit snack gummy and medicine/vitamin gummies—and store the vitamins up and away.
- Set aside time this week to double check that your medicines are stored safely up, away and out of sight of kids. This isn’t just an important step when you are home, but also when you travel or have medicines in your suitcase or purse. It’s also something to consider when staying with friends or family, especially grandparents. I can’t begin to tell you how many guests we have each year—and 9 out of 10 times they travel with their own medicines. I encourage you to have conversations with your guests that they too need to keep their medicines at bay from your children and pets. Please check out Up & Away for more information and tips.
- “Preparing for a Substitute Sitter” is crucial after reading the results from this Mott poll. I encourage you to click the link and browse the data on how many parents fail to provide contact information for Poison Control or the pediatrician when they leave their children home with a babysitter. This is especially true when a sitter is brought in last minute. I found the survey results quite compelling and I personally know I haven’t done a great job communicating with “substitute sitters” in the past. Today I’m making that list to have readily available in case I need to leave last minute. The Poison Control Centers’ phone number should be easily accessible in your own home and saved into your cell phones: (800-222-1222)
As a parent, I love to wake up to my beautiful miracles. There is no better joy in this world for me than being their mom. Life is sweeter, days are fuller, and my being is immersed in them. They are my “Why” for everything. When they hurt, it is me who weeps. Motherhood is serious business and it’s the reason why I constantly strive to do my best to avoid incidents—especially those that can be prevented. Our home is filled with children and pets and most days everyone is traveling in multiple directions. I never know exactly where anyone is headed. It’s critical that I follow the above steps and properly keep medicines and household products up and away, be aware of medications when we travel, and talk to my guests when they arrive for a visit. Keeping those conversations open with my children and other adults can be a great way to avoid an unwanted accident. Know Your OTC’s has more information on how you too can be better prepared and understand that household safety means more than just reading labels.
In the midst of raising four children, there’s one thing I know for sure. At every stage of childhood, communication, education, and precaution are non-negotiables. From my youngest at 2-years-old to my oldest, who is now 11, there’s no room to ignore the importance of safety in our home. Prevention = proactive in our family, and should in yours too!
Save The Date
On Wednesday, March 21st the KYOTCs Facebook Live event will take place at 1pm EST. Viewers will have a chance to ask questions to Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson of Seattle Children’s Hospital and Seattle Mama Doc. Hope to see you at the “Safe Medicine Storage: Keeping Kids Healthy & Safe this Spring.” event.