Pet Medications Can Put Kids at Risk

Veterinary medication exposure in children was common reason for poison center calls

(RxWiki News) Many parents know the importance of keeping their medicines out of the reach of children to prevent accidental exposure. But where are you storing your pets' medications?

Safe storage for pet medications is often overlooked. And that means kids may have an increased risk of exposure to veterinary medications, according to a new study.

The researchers behind this study looked at data from the Central Ohio Poison Center between 1999 and 2013. They found over 1,400 calls related to veterinary medication exposure in children during that time.

Of these calls, more than 87 percent involved children younger than 5. The most common reason for children getting into pet medicines was due to the child’s exploratory behavior, which accounted for over 61 percent of the calls. The children ate or drank the pet’s medication 93 percent of the time.

These findings were only from a single poison center in a limited geographical region. This limits the ability to generalize the results to the rest of the population.

This study was published in the journal Pediatrics.

The American Academy of Pediatrics funded this research. The study authors disclosed no potential conflicts of interest.

Want to keep your kids safe? Here are some tips to ensure that medications are stored properly.

Where in the House Is a Safe Place to Store Medications?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends storing all medications out of reach of your children. Place medications in a cabinet that your children can’t reach.

Keep in mind that some children can climb using countertops or chairs. The safest way to keep medications secure is to lock the cabinets.

Which Products Should Be Stored Securely?

Remember to put all medicines away after each use. This includes vitamins and over-the-counter medications. Vitamins in large amounts can be unsafe for children.

Never leave medication out on the counter or by the bedside — even if you are going to give a dose in a couple of hours. Make sure the safety cap is locked after every use.

Other Tips to Ensure Medication Safety

Be sure to teach your children about medicine safety. Never pretend that medicine is or tastes like candy to convince them to take it. Also, do not allow children to play with medicine bottles.

When you have house guests, make sure you ask them to also keep medications out of sight and reach of children.

Finally, always have the Poison Control number available in case of an emergency. You can reach your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222.