Medicine safety caps not so ‘childproof’

Medicine safety caps not so ‘childproof’

If you thought your medicine safety caps would keep your kids from getting into them, think again.  A recent study showed that children as young as age two are able to open bottles with child-resistant caps. 

Experts say this is a huge eye-opener for parents who need to realize these caps are not childproof, only child-resistant, which is very different. 

In fact, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, child-resistant caps only need to keep out about 80 percent of kids under age 5. 

An even more disturbing report by the nonprofit group, Safe Kids Worldwide that shows more children are being rushed to hospital emergency rooms across the country—poisoned by common household medications. 

According to the data, there’s been a stunning 30 percent spike in children accidentally poisoned by medication in the past decade. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 60,000 kids end up in the ER each year because they are able to get into medicine bottles.  

For this reason, the CDC offers these five safety tips to parents and caregivers:

  • Store medicines and vitamins away and out of reach of children.
    Kids are curious and put all sorts of things in their mouths. Even if you turn your back for less than a minute, they can quickly get into something that could hurt them.
  • Be prepared in case of an emergency. Save the Poison Control number into your cell phone 800.222.1222.
  • Make sure medicine safety caps are locked. Always relock the cap on a medicine bottle. If the bottle has a locking cap that turns, twist it until you hear the click. 
  • Teach your children about medicine safety. It’s important to let your children know what medicine is and why they should never take it alone. Let your kids know who has permission to give them medicine.  
  • Make sure your house guests are informed about medicine safety. Ask visitors to keep purses, bags or coats that have medicine away and out of sight when they are in your home. 

Dr. Rosalind Downing, pediatrician at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill., says the report is a great reminder for parents to be extra cautious at home. 

“Even over-the-counter medication can pose serious danger to children at any age,” she says. “That’s why my team recommends parents childproof the house as soon as their babies turn six months old.”

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.