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Small children who land in the ER after swallowing the wrong medication rarely get the stuff from a medicine cabinet, a recent report says.
Instead, children take pills or bottles off the floor, out of sofa cushions or from purses, counter tops and other easy-to-see spots, most often left there by mothers and grandparents, says the report by the non-profit Safe Kids Worldwide, based in Washington, D.C. In 2011, 67,000 kids went to ERs after accidental exposures to medicine; such cases grew by 30% in a decade.
Kate Carr, Safe Kids president, has this safety advice for parents and grandparents:
• Store meds out of sight and reach — “up and away” is the catch phrase of a campaign by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
• If you fear you’ll forget taking medication if it’s stored away, use an alarm or other reminder.
• Ask family and friends to store meds away when children visit.
• Note the 24/7 national Poison Help Line number: 800-222-1222.