Let’s Keep Our Children Safe #OTCsafety

True_False_Infographic1DidUKnow_Infographic1We’ve all heard of someone, or know of someone whose child got into the medicine cabinet… or an old wives tale of alternative uses for an over the counter medication gone wrong.  You’d think we were all horrified enough to keep our children safe and yet research has found astounding statistics showing we don’t.  As a nurse, you’d expect my family to be the exemplary example of medicine safety and I sadly hang my head in shame. My husband never listens to me about expired medication, and I have many times purged his “precious and expensive” expired medication to keep him safe.

That is why I have proudly joined the OTC Safety program, along with other like-minded bloggers, as their Ambassador to spread this increasingly important message.  OTCsafety.org is a program from the CHPA Educational Foundation. The CHPA Educational Foundation is the nonprofit foundation of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), and is dedicated to providing education on the appropriate and safe use of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and dietary supplements.

One of the first things I did as an Ambassador is signing the Up and Away Pledge. The Up and Away Pledge challenges parent to make sure to put your medicines up and away and out of site.  With simple tips for the entire family to keep our children safe.  As I read the pledge, I realized, as careful and cautious as I am, I was horrified to realized I wasn’t heeding the most basic of medicine safety advice.

Like many children, mine are climbers.  My family’s medication is stored in an overhead cabinet, at the time we moved in, my oldest was just an infant and it was high enough. It’s high, but probably not high enough to be out of reach from my ever adventurous, now older and climbing brood.  It was a huge reminder that I have to re-evaluate our safety measures more often than I was.

Even worse of an offense — the medications we use daily are simply sitting on my counter! After I purged all the expired medication (bringing it to a pharmacy for safe disposal), I moved all my medication Up and Away.  I programmed my phone with the number to Poison Control (800) 222-1222 and also, with my handy dandy label maker, placed a sticker inside my cabinet with the number as well.

So join me on this journey and sign the Up and Away Pledge and then go and actually follow through with the pledge.  Over the next several months I will be sharing with you, as a proud OTC Safety Ambassador, ways you can make sure your family is safe.  Step by Step, we’ll make our family and home safer!  For more information and tips on how to keep your family safe, visit OTCsafety.org and follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/OTCsafety.

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{ disclosure: I receive compensation as part of the CHPA OTC Safety Ambassador Program.  All the opinions reflected here are my own. }