TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) Promoting curiosity in our kids is a good thing! But experts stress doing it in a safe way. Curiosity for medications, is a serious problem today.
According to the Safe Kids Shawnee County coordinator, Teresa Taylor it is absolutely a problem.
“It is a very common thing for children to get into medications that aren’t intended for them or take too many of something that was intended for them.”
A major problem is that many medicine’s look like candy.
“You can see here how so many different medications and they look just like candy and it’s even hard for adults to tell what is what on those. It’s really important that we never refer to medication as candy. Sometimes we’ll say things to get kids to go ahead and take their medicines. It’s often sweetened so that they will take it and it’s a little more palpable for them. But we should never refer to it as candy because we don’t want to encourage getting into it later,” said Teresa.
It’s very important to store medicine in a safe location, where your kids won’t find them.
Teresa said some of the common culprits that you won’t typically think of are night stands.
“When medications are kept in or on a night stand. Children can commonly get into them. Also purses and bags.”
Medication safety is not just for younger children. Safe Kids Shawnee County says adults should model good behavior for older kids to follow.
“We model good behavior. So kids will naturally do what we do, rather than what we tell them to do. If we read the medication label every time, and follow the labels when we take medicine, they’ll be more likely to do that. As they get even older, review that medication labels with them, and teach them about the different components on (the bottle) and how to take medicine safely. They need to take them exactly as prescribed. Taking more doesn’t mean it will work better or faster,” said Teresa.
To avoid any accidental overdoses, make sure you closely follow dosage recommendations and relay any medication instructions to temporary caregivers.
Vitamins, eye drops, and diaper remedies are also common items for kids to get into. Safe Kids Shawnee County recommends having the Poison Control phone number on hand at all time – 1-800-222-1222. You can also text POISON to 48484.