Safe Storage

Approximately 60,000 young children end up in emergency departments every year because they got into medicines while their parent or caregiver was not looking.

Medicines and vitamins help families feel well and stay well, but young children are curious and put all sorts of things in their mouths. All medicines and vitamins should always be kept up and away and out of your child’s reach and sight — every time they are used.

The following tips can help:

  • Store medicines in a safe location that is too high for young children to reach or see.
  • Never leave medicine or vitamins out on a kitchen counter or at a sick child’s bedside, even if you have to give the medicine again in a few hours.
  • Always relock the safety cap on a medicine bottle. If it has a locking cap that turns, twist it until you hear the click or you cannot twist anymore.
  • Tell children what medicine is and why you must be the one to give it to them.
  • Never tell children medicine is “candy” so they’ll take it, even if your child does not like to take his or her medicine.
  • Remind babysitters, houseguests, and visitors to keep purses, bags, or coats that have medicines in them up and away and out of sight when they are in your home.
  • Program the Poison Help number 800.222.1222 into your home and cell phones so you will have it in case of an emergency.

To remind parents and caregivers about the importance of safe medicine storage, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the CHPA Educational Foundation in partnership with the PROTECT Initiative launched the Up and Away and Out of Sight educational campaign. Visit to learn more.

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