Store medicine properly to avoid ‘candy confusion’

(StatePoint)Be extra vigilant about safe medicine storage so kids don’t mistake medicines for a sweet treat.

Every year, about 60,000 young children in the U.S. end up in the emergency room after accidentally getting into medicines left within their reach. Medications and candy can often look, smell and taste alike — making it tough for kids to tell the difference between a gummi bear and a multivitamin, or an Altoid and an aspirin.

“With this in mind, it’s important that parents and guardians remember to safely store and keep medicines up and away, and out of sight and reach, from children,” says Dan Budnitz, director of the Medication Safety Program at CDC and manager of its PROTECT Initiative.

The Up and Away campaign aims to prevent accidental, unsupervised ingestion of medicine by educating parents and caregivers about safe medicine storage. They are advising parents and guardians to follow these tips:

• As tempting as this can be, never refer to medicine as candy when giving to your child.

• Make sure all medicines are stored safely, up and away and out of sight. This includes at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, too. Nearly one in five grandparents store their over-the-counter medicines and prescriptions in easy to access places. Remind grandparents and babysitters to take the same precautions.

• Be prepared by saving the Poison Help number in your phone 800-222-1222 or text “POISON” to 797979 to save the information automatically.

• Find more information and tips on safe medicine storage by visiting

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