(StatePoint) While you may already understand the importance of keeping medicines safely up and away from the reach of little ones, you may not be treating your vitamins and other supplements with as much care. Experts warn that these products also pose safety risks and should be kept up and away and out of sight and reach of young children. This is particulary important for grandparents who may be traveling with their grandchildren or visiting their home.
“We’ve seen this play out recently with melatonin supplements. Recent data show that between 2012–2021, the annual number of pediatric ingestions of melatonin increased more than 500%, with approximately 220,000 ingestions by young children reported to U.S. poison centers. Pediatric hospitalizations and more serious outcomes also increased, largely due to an increase in unintentional melatonin ingestions,” says Mary Leonard, managing director, Consumer Healthcare Product Association (CHPA) Educational Foundation. “Much like medication, you take vitamins and supplements to feel your best, but they can be dangerous if left out and within reach of children in the home.”
Keep kids safe
To keep kids safe, the CHPA Educational Foundation in collaboration with the Up and Away campaign of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-led PROTECT Initiative, is reminding families that safe medicine storage also includes vitamins and other supplements. To prevent accidental ingestions, keep all medicines, vitamins and other supplements — including those in gummy form — up and away and out of sight and reach of young children. The following tips can help:
• Keep medicines, vitamins and other supplements (including those carried in purses, bags, pockets or pill organizers) in a safe location that is too high for young children to reach or see.
• Never leave medicines or vitamins out on a counter, table or at a sick child’s bedside.
• At home or away, keep medicines in child-resistant containers until right before you take them.
• Always relock the safety cap on bottles. If it has a locking cap that turns, twist it until you can’t twist anymore or until you hear the “click.”
• Teach children what medicine and vitamins are and why you or another caregiver must be the one to give it to them.
• Never tell children that medicine or vitamins are candy so they’ll take it, even if your child doesn’t like to take their medicine.
• Remind babysitters, houseguests and visitors that purses, bags or jackets that have medicines or vitamins in them should be kept up and away and out of sight when they’re in your home.
• Keep the Poison Help number in all of your phones: (800) 222-1222 or text “POISON” TO 797979 to automatically save it.
For additional tips, safety information, and resources to spread these messages visit upandaway.org.
“Children are curious by nature, always getting their little hands into something they shouldn’t. We can’t stop their inquiring minds, but we can keep them safe by keeping medicines, vitamins, and supplements out of their sight and reach,” says Leonard.