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Are Your Grandkids at Risk From Your Meds?

Are Your Grandkids at Risk From Your Meds?

A whopping 40 percent of children treated in ERs for poisoning have ingested medicines while at a grandparent’s home.

Three generations of Matthews have played in the NFL: Clay Matthews, Sr., played four seasons for the San Francisco 49ers. His eldest son, Clay Matthews, Jr., (Cleveland Browns) and younger son Bruce (Oilers/Titans) both played 19 seasons to great acclaim. Then, Matthews, Jr., had two kids who made it to the NFL: Clay III (the Packers) and Casey (the Eagles). Bruce Matthews also had two children who were in the NFL: Kevin (Titans/Panthers) and Jake (Falcons). Clearly grandfather passed down some pretty good genes and life lessons.

Unfortunately, some of what many grandparents are passing on these days is doing kids harm. According to the National Poll on Healthy Aging, around 11 percent of grandparents live with children up to age 17 and many others frequently take care of grandkids. But only seven percent of grandparents say they put their medication away in a locked cupboard or cabinet, while a whopping 72 percent keep medicines in open purses or bags where they’re easily accessible. So, it’s not surprising that the CDC finds nearly 40 percent of children treated in emergency rooms for poisoning have ingested medicines while at a grandparent’s home.

Whether your grandkids are toddlers or teens, don’t leave your medicines—OTC or Rx—in purses or on a kitchen counter. Store them in a locked or secure cupboard or cabinet that’s out of reach, especially if meds aren’t kept in their original, child-safe vials. And always have the National Poison Control Center number on hand: 800-222-1222.

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