Safe Travels Part 2: Medicine Safety

Welcome back to our blog series about keeping kids safe while traveling during the holidays. In our last post, we discussed car seat safety and making sure your child is properly buckled up before hitting the road. This week, we’ll talk about something many parents may not consider when visiting family and friends during the holidays: medication safety.

Every 10 minutes in the U.S., a child under age 6 is taken to the emergency room because they may have been poisoned by accidentally swallowing a medicine. Since nearly all parents with young children have some type medicine in their home, it’s important to make sure medicines are kept safely out of reach of children and in child-safe containers.

However, when we asked parents and grandparents how they store their medications, we found that nearly 1 in every 4 grandparents says they store prescription medicines in ways a child could easily access—in easy-to-open containers that keep doses handy or in a place that is not out of reach of children. Read the full report: Easy-access medicines a poisoning risk for kids at home.

Infographic: Proportions of parents & grandparents of young children who store medicines in easy-access places

View full size image | See other infographics

If you’re traveling this holiday season to visit family and friends, you can check with them ahead of time and ask them to make sure any medications in their home are safely where children can’t access them. If you have to take medications with you as you travel – whether they’re for you or for your children – keep them in child-safe containers and ask your friends and family to store them for you in a safe place up and out of reach. It’s also important to keep a close eye on your children – especially when they’re in someone else’s home, which is a different environment than they’re used to. 

For more information on medication safety, watch this short video with Pediatrician and NPCH Director Dr. Matt Davis:

What strategies do you use, both at home and when you travel, to keep medications out of reach of children? Let us know in the comments!