Household Safety: Medications, Poisons, and Other Hazards

About this resource
Reviewed: 2018

Online Resource(s)

How to keep kids safe around medicine
This webpage from Safe Kids Wordwide includes several resources on safety and medications.

Medicine safety for children: an in-depth look at calls to poison centers
This 20-page report provides an analysis of data from the National Poison Data System to better understand what types of medicine children are getting into and how it happens.  Top tips to keep children safe (handout) is on page 4.

Medication Safety Tips
This website from the American Academy of Pediatrics provides general information about medication safety for children. It includes information about dosing safety, mixing food with medication, and helping children take medicine.

For Parents: Young Children and Adverse Drug Events
Children under age five are at a high risk for experiencing adverse drug events. This website from the Centers for Disease Control provides information about the cause and suggestions to prevent adverse drug events.

Up and Away
Proper storage of medications is an important safety precaution that should be practiced to help keep young children safe. This website from the Centers for Disease Control provides steps for parents to take to prevent medication-related accidents.

Opioid Fact Sheet
This website provides one-page fact sheets from the American Academy of Pediatrics that highlight the impact of the opioid crisis on children in the United States. Organized by U.S. states, these factsheets provide statistics and tips for what can be done to prevent child exposure to opioids.

Is it Candy or Medicine?
Young children do not understand the harmful effects of medication and other dangerous substances, so parents must be cautious. This website provides safety tips and a list of dangerous products that caregivers should keep out of reach of children.

What to Know about Storing Medicine Infographic
This simple infographic from Safe Kids Worldwide explains the risk of children having access to medication and provides ways for families to decrease the risk of adverse drug events.

Common Mistakes Parents Make in Medication Storage
This simple infographic explains information parents should know about keeping medications safe from children, as well as common mistakes parents make in medication storage.

An In-Depth Look at Keeping Young Children Safe Around Medicine
This research report by Safe Kids Worldwide, includes information about the prevalence, causes, and prevention of medication poisoning in children.

Liquid Nicotine Used in E-Cigarettes Can Kill Children
Children between one and five years old are at risk of death due to exposure to liquid nicotine. This article from the American Academy of Pediatrics stresses the importance of keeping these products out of reach of children.

Safe Medicine Storage for Travel
While families are staying in a hotel or at a friend’s home, it may be more difficult to keep medicine safe from children. This one-page tip sheet from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides steps parents can take to prevent their child from accessing medication while away from home.

Keep a Lid on It
Medication poisoning is one of the leading causes for emergency room visits for children under five years. This five-minute podcast from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention discusses the dangers of drug poisonings and ways to prevent them in young children.

Family Guides to Medicine Safety
The Scholastic website provides family guides (available in a variety of languages) about medication safety. The website also has videos, a game, and a digital storybook that provides more information about medication safety.

A Head Start on Treating Our Nation’s Opioid Epidemic
In this report by the National Head Start Association, practitioners discuss how Head Start is addressing the opioid crisis within communities. The report also includes recommendations for intervention based on Head Start’s successful models.

Simple Steps to Safe Medicine Storage
This one-minute video clip by Safe Kids Worldwide provides information about the dangers of child access to medications. It provides steps for parents to help keep their children safe.

CDC Up and Away on Coffee with America
Dr. Dan Budnitz of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) visits Coffee with America to talk about dangers relating to children and medication. In this five-minute video, Dr. Budnitz talks about the risks and preventive measures of medication overdoses.

Five Ways to Help Keep Your Kids Safe
This one-minute video by Scholastic provides tips on how parents can ensure they are safely using over-the-counter medicine with their children.

Pills Vs. Candy
This interactive game challenges the player to look at two pictures and choose which one is a medicine/pill and which one is candy. The purpose of this game is to encourage adults to keep medications and other harmful substances out of reach of
children.

Digital Storybook: The Perfect Project
Easily accessible online, this children’s book story teaches children about the importance of medicine safety.

Prenatal Opiate Exposure
This webinar created by the Early Intervention Training Program focuses on the impact of prenatal exposure to opiates. The presenter talks about early childhood learning and behavior and intervention strategies that can promote long-term growth and development for children exposed to opiates in the prenatal period. There is also a handout that supplements the webinar.

Key Findings: Children Born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) May Have Educational Disabilities
A study from the Tennessee Department of Health found that children born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) were more likely to have a developmental delay or speech or language impairment in early childhood compared to children born without NAS. NAS is a serious withdrawal syndrome that can occur in newborns after exposure to opioids during pregnancy.

Child Mind Institute Medication Guide
This guide sheds light on the most effective medications for specific disorders, as well as how to know if your child is getting the right dose and how and when children should be weaning off medication.

Organization(s)

Illinois Poison Center
This organization provides expert telephone treatment, public education, and focused research related to poison incidence and injuries.

Safe Kids Worldwide
This is a nonprofit organization that works hard to keep children safe from injury, including adverse drug events. The website provides tip-sheets, videos, infographics, research reports, and other helpful resources for parents and community members.