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Keeping Kids Safe
from Unsecured Medications

Did you know: Every year, thousands of children end up in U.S. emergency departments because of medication that wasn't secured and stored safely? As parents and caregivers, it is our responsibility to ensure the well-being of the children in our homes and to create a safe environment for them. By implementing a few simple yet effective strategies, we can significantly reduce the risks and help keep kids safe from unsecured medication.

Top 3 tips for keeping kids safe around medications

  1. Lock up all your medications.
    The important first-step is to keep all medications securely locked away to prevent accidents by using a lockable medicine cabinet or a lockbox to store medications out of sight and reach of children and youth. Ensure that the cabinet or box is inaccessible to children, either by being mounted high on the wall or by using childproof locks.

  2. Safely dispose of your medication.
    Proper disposal of medications is not only vital for the safety of our children but also for the well-being of our environment. Unused or expired medications should never be flushed down the toilet or thrown in the trash. These methods can harm our water systems and pose a risk to others. Instead, take advantage of safe medication disposal programs like the PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs' (DDAP) Prescription drug take-back program.

  3. Teach kids.
    Education is a powerful tool in promoting medication safety for children. By teaching kids about the potential dangers of taking medications without adult supervision, you can help protect them outside of your own home. Start by explaining that medications are not candy and should only be taken under the guidance of a trusted adult. Emphasize the importance of never touching or taking any medication they might find. Use age-appropriate language and visuals to help children understand the difference between medications and food.

Learn more about safe medication usage + storage

 Content Editor

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS), which is in part comprised of the Office of Children, Youth, and Families (OCYF) complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.