Medication safety: Tips for keeping pills out of harm's way

Posted by gphetteplace @gphetteplace, Dec 12, 2020

Hi everyone! Transplant recipients require daily meds, and the pill organizers are great to keep them straight. Unfortunately they pose a risk to our little ones because they are not child proof. Some of the anti-rejection drugs are cytotoxic and can cause permanent reproductive damage I don’t have recent data, but I attended a seminar awhile back and at the time up to 20% of pediatric poisonings are by grandparents meds. I’ve also had to wait while they pumped my toddler’s stomach after a visit at a family member’s house. It happens so fast.

Here’s some date from the seminar. Numbers have probably changed, but it gives you an idea of the importance of medication safety.

  • Medications are the leading cause of child poisoning.
  • Each year, more than 500,000 children under the age of five experience a potential poisoning related to medications.
  • More than 60,000 children are treated in emergency departments due to accidental unsupervised ingestions each year.
  • Currently, more children are brought to emergency departments for medication poisonings than for motor vehicle occupant injuries.
  • You probably have an endless supply of empty child-proof pill bottles. Consider labeling them and using them to organize your meds while you have young children in the house.
  • If you do transfer meds between containers, make sure you account for all of the pills. Toddlers are notorious for putting things they find on the floor in their mouths.

I hope you are able to see family. Stay safe!

@gphetteplace Very wise words, and a good reminder to us all! Thank you.

Not only are prescription medications a source of concern, but so are over the counter products, like vitamins, aspirin, allergy pill, etc. And while we are thinking about children, who seem to want to taste everything, or put it in their little mouths, let's not forget our pets! My cat chased after one of my husband's dropped pills, and fortunately found it had a bitter taste. But she punctured another gelatin capsule and got a tummy upset.
Ginger

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@gingerw

@gphetteplace Very wise words, and a good reminder to us all! Thank you.

Not only are prescription medications a source of concern, but so are over the counter products, like vitamins, aspirin, allergy pill, etc. And while we are thinking about children, who seem to want to taste everything, or put it in their little mouths, let's not forget our pets! My cat chased after one of my husband's dropped pills, and fortunately found it had a bitter taste. But she punctured another gelatin capsule and got a tummy upset.
Ginger

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Good point, Ginger! We don’t have pets so I didn’t think of it.

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@gphetteplace, I appreciate that you shared highlights from the medication safety seminar you attended. Such as important reminder. While we may not be able to get together with family, children and grandchildren for the holiday this year, we will again, hopefully soon. I augmented the title of your discussion to "Medication safety: Tips for keeping pills out of harm's way" in the hopes of getting tips from fellow members.

You're right. It does happen so fast. As a child, I drank turpentine because neighbors had put leftover turpentine in a Coke bottle. I had to have my stomach pumped. Luckily no negative health impacts although I was indignant that I woke up in a crib in the hospital. I was already sleeping in a big girl bed and finding myself in a crib is imprinted on my memory. Funny how memory works.

So back on topic. I agree that pill organizers are very convenient and are helpful to remind us when we have taken our pills, etc. What do people do to keep these organizers safely stowed away from children, pets, etc.?

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@colleenyoung

@gphetteplace, I appreciate that you shared highlights from the medication safety seminar you attended. Such as important reminder. While we may not be able to get together with family, children and grandchildren for the holiday this year, we will again, hopefully soon. I augmented the title of your discussion to "Medication safety: Tips for keeping pills out of harm's way" in the hopes of getting tips from fellow members.

You're right. It does happen so fast. As a child, I drank turpentine because neighbors had put leftover turpentine in a Coke bottle. I had to have my stomach pumped. Luckily no negative health impacts although I was indignant that I woke up in a crib in the hospital. I was already sleeping in a big girl bed and finding myself in a crib is imprinted on my memory. Funny how memory works.

So back on topic. I agree that pill organizers are very convenient and are helpful to remind us when we have taken our pills, etc. What do people do to keep these organizers safely stowed away from children, pets, etc.?

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@colleenyoung Both my husband and I take a variety of prescription and over-the-counter medications. We each have a dedicated container to hold the current bottles, each going on different shelves in the hall cabinet. My husband refers to an Excel spreadsheet as he refills his 7 day organizer. Our organizers are kept in drawers convenient to each of us, not left out. He uses an alarm on his smart phone to remind him for pill-taking. Each vehicle has a couple emergency doses of the prescription drugs, "just in case" we get caught out of the house.
Ginger

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Before Covid we had "littles" in our home one or two days a week all day, so this has always been a concern for us. Like Ginger, we have med organizers, and always made sure to keep them in a cabinet inaccessible to them. As they get taller and more able to explore we have "no go" zones – cupboards they may not touch, which they respect.

Because Grandpa occasionally drops a tiny pill, we taught the boys to bring anything they find to us in exchange for a small treat. It works.

Another concern is topical potions- NSAID gels, muscle rubs, and essential oils – which are kept handy on the headboard or end tables- so far I have removed them to the cupboards on kid days without incident.

I am vigilant because I always remember my curiosity about my Grandma's insulin and reusable syringe and needles as a child.

Sue

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