A new report by Safe Kids Worldwide found that the percentage of child-poisoning deaths as a result of medications has nearly doubled –– from 36 percent to 64 percent –– even though the death rate among children from poisoning overall has been cut in half since the 1970s.
Here are five tips to avoid medication-related poisoning:
1. Always put medicines and vitamins up and away and in a locked location after every use. Never leave them on the counter. Don't keep them in a purse or briefcase, or in an unlocked cabinet or drawer.
2. Always read and follow label instructions when giving medicines to children. If your child's medication does not have dosing information or instructs you to call a doctor for the dose, be sure that the doctor knows the exact product you are trying to use.
3. Only use the dosing device packaged with the medications. Never use a household utensil, such as a teaspoon or tablespoon, to measure medicine.
4. Up to 20 percent of pediatric poisonings involve a grandparent's medication, according to the Journal of American Osteopathic Association. Make sure that all medications in the child's environment are stored out of reach and out of sight.
5. Program the nationwide Poison Help number (800-222-1222) into your phones.