During the hustle and bustle that defines summertime activity in many households, families occasionally need a gentle reminder to protect their loved ones from the risk of unintentional injury.

A cause for concern

One such important reminder is to keep young children safe around medications. More than 80 percent of emergency department visits among kids under the age 12 are due to children taking medications on their own, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Among two-year-olds, the CDC says 1 in 151 is treated for an unintentional medication overdose. Several strategies have proven effective in preventing curious kids from getting into medicines and vitamins.

“CDC reports two children die every day as a result of being poisoned.”

Safety tips

First, store them in places that are out of sight for children. Second, keep medicines in their original, child-resistant packaging and lock the safety cap after each use. Third, be on the lookout for wandering hands searching through purses, bags or coats—particularly on travel days and when guests are visiting.

CDC reports two children die every day as a result of being poisoned. Kids are quick to put things in their mouths, and medications can be just as harmful to children as cleaners and other chemicals.

Remember, always read the label and use medicines only as prescribed. As an extra tip, when giving children medication, always use the dosing cup or device that came with your child’s medicine. When it comes to medication, a kitchen teaspoon is not an accurate dose.

Never leave medicines unattended on a countertop, nightstand, or in an easily accessible kitchen cabinet. The best advice for safe disposal of medicines is to return them during a drug take-back event in your community.

Stay open

Finally, during the annual observance of National Safety Month in June, we suggest you speak from the heart. Open a dialogue to ensure all parents and caregivers are on the same page, whether kids are in your home or elsewhere.

Picking safety is a choice we make throughout our lives. Men and women, boys and girls take medicines and vitamins to feel well and stay well. Trouble can arise if these items are abused or fall into the wrong hands, especially the hands of a child.