Medicine safety

With COVID 19, we have been at the home more but had the option to be outside.  Colder months are here so we will be inside more.  It may be a good time to do a quick look around your home for a safety check.  There are many possibilities for you to consider as you create you list of items to include.  Medicine safety should be on the list.
 
Medicines help us feel better and stay well.  The medicine we get with a prescription as well as the over the counter drugs and vitamins should be stored carefully. No matter how safe we think the medicine is, when it is misused, it can be harmful.
The first consideration is keeping the medicine out of the reach of children.  It should be in a place children can not reach or see.  Put them away every time even though it is tempting to leave them on the counter or bedside for convenience. Safety caps are there for a reason.  They are frustrating to open at times, but they keep most little hands from opening the bottle. Teach children about medicine safety.  If you have guests in the house, ask them to put bags or purses that may have medicine in them up where children cannot reach.  When you are traveling think about medicine storage as well.
 
Medicine safety is a consideration with older adults as well.  Share with your doctor all the over the counter drugs/vitamins/herbal preparations/supplements you are taking. The doctor can then make informed decisions about what is best for you. Have a medicine list with you so you can review it with your doctor at each visit or if you need to go to another doctor or emergency room.  Share the list with a trusted friend or family member so they can share the information if the you are not able.
 
Keep the Iowa Poison Control Center number handy.  Save it to your cellphone so you don’t have to look it up.  Their web site has additional safety information, https://www.iowapoison.org/prevention/poison-prevention-for-a-safe-home/ .
 
Taking time to do a medicine safety check will be well worth the effort. 
 
 
Resources:
https://www.cdc.gov/patientsafety/features/medication-storage.html
https://www.iowapoison.org/prevention/poison-prevention-for-a-safe-home/
https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/4-medication-safety-tips-older-adults

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