Keep track of all the medicine in your home, especially if you have children or teens. This goes for both medicine that your dentist or physician prescribed for you and the medicines you buy over the counter, such as aspirin. Children and teens might not follow directions when they take medicine, so watch them to make sure they use it correctly. People can get sick or die if they take medicine incorrectly.
Accidental Overdose. Don’t leave children alone with any kind of medicine, even over-the-counter medicine. Children may think medicine is candy or juice, especially if it is colorful or sweet. More than 60,000 children go to the hospital every year because they took a medicine when no one was looking ~ according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tell your Bearable Dentistry dentist or hygienist about all the medicines you or your child is taking. Don’t mix medicines. If you are already taking medicine, ask your doctor, dentist or pharmacist before adding another. Some medicines have the same active ingredient. The active ingredient is what makes a medicine work. You can overdose if you take more than one medicine with the same active ingredient.
Drug Abuse. Some children, teens and adults abuse medicine to get high. People can abuse prescription medicine or over-the-counter medicine. In 2010, high school seniors abused medicine more often than any other substance except marijuana (National Institute on Drug Abuse). In a 2011 survey, almost one in five teens said they had abused prescription medicines at least once. More than one in 10 teens said they had abused over-the-counter cough or cold medicine. (The Partnership at Drugfree.org/MetLife Foundation).
Keeping Your Home Safer. Here are some things you can do to make your home safer:
- Put medicine where children can’t take it without permission.
- Put medicine away every time you use it. Never leave medicine on the kitchen counter or at a sick child’s bedside, even if you have to use it again soon.
- Listen for the click to make sure the safety cap is locked.
- Never tell children that a medicine is candy to get them to take it.
- Tell guests about safety. Ask friends and family to keep purses, bags and coats that have medicine in them up and away and out of sight when they are visiting.
- Be prepared in case of an emergency. Put the poison control telephone number in your home and cell phone speed dials: (1-800-222-1212).