Prevent Prescription Drug Poisoning

Every 30 seconds a poison control center receives a call about a child being accidentally exposed to a poison – and nearly half of those poisons are over-the-counter and prescription medications. To prevent prescription drugs from finding their way into young hands, it is important that you not only keep your current medications in a safe place, but also to properly dispose of unused prescriptions.

On Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can drop off any unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs during the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Local law enforcement agencies will host dozens of convenient drop off locations across the county. To find the location near you, check this list of locations or visit https://takebackday.dea.gov/.

This service is free and anonymous – no questions asked. Please note that no liquids, needles or sharps will be accepted.

Please take the time to clean out your medicine cabinets, identify and remove the medications that could potentially harm your family.

Create a Poison-Safe Home

In addition to participating in the Prescription Drug Take Back Day, take the following steps to keep prescription drugs away from your children:

  • Store all medicine up and out of sight and out of reach from children. Consider storing medications (prescription and over-the-counter) as well as vitamins in a locked cabinet.
  • Keep all medicines in their original containers with safety caps. Remember, these caps are child resistant and not child proof.
  • Call medicine by its correct name. Don’t confuse your child by calling it candy.
  • Check the label every time you give medicine. This will help you to be sure you are giving the right medicine in the right amount to the right person. Mistakes are more common in the middle of the night, so always turn on a light when using any medicine.
  • Keep a close eye on your child when you are visiting someone else’s home, especially at a grandparent’s home. Medications may be left out within a child’s reach.
  • Program your cell and home phones with the number for national Poison Prevention: 1-800-222-1222. They answer the phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • If you think your child has ingested a prescription medication, remain calm. If they have collapsed or are not breathing, dial 911 immediately. If your child is awake and alert, call 1-800-222-1222. Try to have the following information ready: your child’s age and weight, the container or bottle of the medication if available, the time the incident occurred and the address where the poisoning occurred.