How To Make Your Medicine Cabinet Safer

Your medicine chest looks like a place where candies are stored to most kids. The fact that most medicines for kids taste pretty good also doesn't help. This is why it is important to clean it out as often as possible and put harmful medications under lock and key if you can. 

You should get rid of left-over or half use prescriptions as well as over-the-counter or prescription medicines that are past their expiry date.  If your kid doesn't finish his or her medication you should probably be throwing it out anyway.  It is dangerous to have old prescriptions around unless your pediatrician specifically told you to keep them. 

To make it a little safer you should also get rid of all the medications that do not have child resistant caps or packaging.  Even better yet don't keep any kind of medicine chest or medicine storage in your child's room at all! 

There are also some medications that you may have on hand that are not recommended for use by doctors or the American Pediatric association.  A good example is syrup of ipecac as the Academy of Pediatrics no longer says this is a good item to keep in the home. It used to be used to induce vomiting in kids that were accidentally poisoned. 

You should also get rid of any old mercury thermometers and trade them in for the newest sensor digital thermometers. The old fashioned ones can break and expose your kid to mercury and mercury vapors.  S

urprisingly the Academy of Pediatrics also recommends getting rid of hydrogen peroxide. We typically use it to disinfect cuts or wounds but apparently instead of helping to heal hydrogen peroxide may actual damage healthy skin cells. Try not to keep any aspirin in your medicine cabinet. Both very young children and adults are at risk of developing Reye's syndrome if they even take just one pill.  This is not a matter of overdose!   It is also common knowledge that you shouldn’t give your child, or even your teenager, aspirin unless there is no other option and you are stranded at a cottage. Start with half a pill if you have to and watch for any reactions (such as a rash.) 

When you are done cleaning out your medicine cabinet you should not just throw everything in the trash.  Don't flush them into the toilet either. These medicines are getting into our groundwater (especially the antibiotics.) As we are consuming antibiotics unnecessarily through water sources we are becoming more and more resistant to them. This can result in flesh eating diseases such as MRSA and illness from ordinary bacteria like staph. 

One way to keep your kid out of the medicine chest is to never give him or her the idea that is okay to go in there in the first place. Never say to your teen 'go get it yourself.' You don't want to end up with a Little Lindsay Lohan on your hands who has no idea about how to handle drugs.