Little Kids

How to store your medicine safely

The safest way to keep medication away from children

By Karan Smith
How to store your medicine safely

Lock all meds out of reach
Safe Kids Canada says accidentally swallowing medication is the leading cause of poisoning in children. So keep your family safe by locking all meds in a cabinet or container out of reach.

Bathrooms aren't always best
Bathrooms aren’t ideal due to the humidity and changing temperature ­— plus, a child can lock herself in. Safe Kids’ Kristen Gane suggests choosing a place that works for you (such as a high closet shelf) — so you’ll stick to it.

Don't rely on child-resistant bottles
Keep pills in their original packaging and keep vitamins with the medicine. And be aware, some kids can break into child-resistant bottles, warns paediatrician Sarah Gander: “All medication should be put away.”

Clean out the medicine cabinet twice a year....

Expired meds may have negative consequences
A recent Angus-Reid survey, commissioned by Benadryl, found that fewer than one-quarter of Canadians purge expired items from their medicine cabinets even once a year. Products beyond their best-before dates lose potency and can change, with potentially negative consequences, says Philip Emberley of the Canadian Pharmacists Association.

Don't flush or throw out products
Safe Kids Canada recommends going through your medicine cabinet twice a year, when you change the clocks. Don’t flush products down the toilet or throw them in the garbage; traces of drugs have been detected in our water and soil. Ask if your pharmacy offers a free eco-friendly disposal service, or visit for options.

This article was originally published on Nov 16, 2011

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