(Washington, D.C., Tuesday, March 24, 2020) – The vast majority of children are home right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic leaving them at a greater risk for accessing medications that were unintentionally left out by an adult.

Adults unintentionally make it easy for young children to eat dangerous pills.

Each year there are about 400,000 poison center calls and 50,000 ER visits as a result of young children ingesting medications that were left out and within reach by an adult.

According to a recent study, which appears in The Journal of Pediatrics, more than half of kids poisoned by prescription pills ingested them after an adult removed the medicines from the child-resistant container and left them within reach.

The research also showed that in half of the instances where children accidentally got into prescription medicines, which can be very harmful to kids in small amounts, the medications belonged to a grandparent.

Up and Away is an educational program focusing on the importance of safe medicine storage; urging parents and grandparents to put all medicines up and away, out of sight and reach for young children.

Here are some important tips to keep kids and grandkids safe:

  • Whenever you can, keep medications in the original child-resistant bottles.
  • Securely re-close the bottle after every use.
  • Put the bottle up and away and out of a child’s reach and sight immediately after you use it.
  • If pills are spilled, double-check to make sure that all pills are picked up.
  • Save the Poison Help number in your phone, (800) 222-1222, and call right away if you think your child might have gotten into a medicine.

Families take medicines and vitamins to feel well or stay well. Any medicine of vitamin can be dangerous if taken the wrong way or by the wrong person, even medicine you buy without a prescription (known as over-the-counter medicines). Up and Away and Out of Sight is an educational program to remind families about the importance of safe medicine storage. It is an initiative led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Educational Foundation. For more info, check out UpandAway.org.

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