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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Medicine Safety for Children

Medicines are a common source of poisoning for children. Most poisonings occur in the home. Always keep medication locked up and out of sight and reach of children.

 

Safe Use

  • Do not take your medicine in front of your children as they often imitate others. Medicine can look like candy.
  • Never share medicine with others, or use someone else’s medicine.
  • Take medicine as directed. Read instructions carefully.
  • Check the expiry dates. Ask your pharmacist if you are not sure when the medicine expires.
 
medications
 

Safe Storage

  • Lock up all medicine, including those for pets.
  • Safety lids on medicine bottles are NOT childproof. Do not depend on safety lids to keep children protected.
  • Keep medicine in its original container.
  • Medicine should not be kept in your purse or diaper bag.
  • Do not keep your medicine in the bathroom. Heat and moisture could spoil it.
  • Refrigerate medicine only if it says to do so on the label.

Safe Disposal

  • Every year, clean out prescription medicine or unused medicine such as cough, cold, pain, first aid or herbal products.
  • Do not throw old and unused medicine into the garbage, and do not flush it down the toilet. Medicine is hazardous waste.
  • Return old and unused medicine to your pharmacist for safe and proper disposal

Common Products Reported to Poison Centres

  • ASA (e.g. AspirinTM) & acetaminophen (e.g. TylenolTM)
  • Cold Remedies
  • Vitamins and Supplements
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Iron Pills
  • Herbal Products

For additional information, contact the Middlesex-London Health Unit, your Pharmacist, Family Physician, or the Ontario Regional Poison Information Centre.1

 
Date of creation: February 22, 2013
Last modified on: February 2, 2017
 

References

1Child Safety Middlesex London. (2010). Poison Prevention [Brochure]. London, Ontario: Child Safety Middlesex London