There are often many common hidden hazards found in our homes, especially when it comes to medicine storage. It is crucial for parents and caregivers to pay attention to where medicine is stored and the importance of clear medication labeling to help in the prevention of accidental consumption especially in households with children. Here are some helpful storage tips to consider:

1. Up and away

As we know children are quick and curious to explore their surroundings. Therefore, to prevent children from easily finding medication, the first step is keeping medicine away from sight and reach.

  • High and hidden: It is advised to keep medicine locked in places that are high and where children do not have easy access to them. Consider putting medicine in places that are not popular. Storage places like easily accessible shelves and countertops are not advised.
  • Child-resistant packaging: If available, choose medications that are packaged in a child-resistant container. Make sure to properly secure the container after every use.

To read more on medication safety please refer to the website Up and Away and Out of Sight.

2. Labeling clarity

Having medications that are easy to read is very important. This not only enables the identification of hazards, but also prompts responsible use of medication. In addition, keeping medicines and or vitamins in their original packaging will reduce further confusion and will aid in problem solving in the event of ingestion by a child.

  • Bold lettering and contrasting colors: Important information on medication labels like dosage guidelines, warnings and potential side effects can be written in bold fonts and contrasting colors.
  • Symbolic representation: Using easily recognizable symbols or signs in writing can support children who have difficulty reading.

3. Regular checks and safe disposal

Parents are advised to frequently check their medical storage and labels so that medications are safely stored, and childproof packaging remains unbroken. Include a monthly home safety check in your routine. When conducting your monthly smoke detector check, allocate time to inspect medicine expiration dates. Be sure to throw away medicines and remove unused or outdated medications from home. If you have questions about safe disposal, please contact poison control or your local pharmacy. In addition, please refer to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website for additional information on safe labeling.

In conclusion, the first place to teach and prevent children from accidentally ingesting drugs is in the home. By taking the time to store medications properly and labeling them correctly, we prevent anything harmful from happening to our kids. Raising awareness about medication safety is crucial for a safer living environment. Tell a friend, neighbor or loved one about safe medication storage; proactively share information within your community. Protecting our kids and family requires a collective effort.

If you think your child has ingested medicine, make sure to contact or call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222 right away. If a poisoning occurs, it’s important to react calmly and quickly to take appropriate first aid steps. Serious poisonings don’t always have early signs. Use the tool for online assistance.


Safe Kids Worldwide Safe Kids District of Columbia is a nonprofit organization working to help families and communities keep kids safe from injuries.

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