Holidays, Kids, and Medicine: Safety tips

Medication Safety Tips From the Minnesota Poison Control System

Poison HelpAccording to the Centers for Disease Control, over 60,000 children are seen in emergency departments annually due to accessing and ingesting medication.

One father contacted the Poison Center last week. His 3-year-old son quickly got into a medication while he was in the process of giving medication to his other child who was sick. What did he do? He picked up the phone and called the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. A Poison Specialist was available immediately to assist him and determined that treatment could be safely provided in the home. No needless emergency visit necessary, just a phone call to access the needed information and care.

Children can climb higher, move quicker, and can access medications faster than you can imagine. Keep your children and grandchildren safe this holiday season by following these five simple steps.

Pick a place your child cannot reach. Up high and out-of-sight is best

Put medications away every time after using them. Never leave medication out on counters or bed stands where children can easily access them.

Make sure the safety cap is locked. Remember, safety caps are not “child proof”, they are child resistant. Children can still access medications with safety caps.

Teach your children about medicine safety. Explain why the medicine is being given to them. Never refer to medicine as candy.

Tell guest about medication safety. Request that visitors keep purses and bags that contain medicines up and away. Most serious medical outcomes from medicine ingestion in children occur when grandpa and grandma visit.

If a child does ingest medication, call the Poison Center right away at 1-800-222-1222. The call is free, confidential, and available 24/7. Calling the Poison Center first can prevent needless emergency room visits 92% of the time. Call 911 first if a child is having difficulty breathing or having a seizure after accidental medication ingestion. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season by keeping medicine up and away. Visit or for more information.

Hennepin County Medical Center and the MN Poison Control System wish you and your family a safe, happy holiday season!