Families with kids travelling and visiting friends and relatives these holidays are being reminded how important it is to keep medicines safely out of the reach of children, because mistakes can so easily happen.
According to a Galaxy survey* conducted by NPS MedicineWise, in around half of all Australian households there is likely to be insecurely stored medicine. This could be because the medicine is by someone’s bedside (18%), on a shelf in the kitchen or living room (18%) or in the fridge (14%).
Households with children are just as likely to have insecurely stored medicine as households in which there are no children, the survey found.
“It’s important to always keep medicine in a safe place,” says Dr Jill Thistlethwaite, NPS MedicineWise Medical Adviser and GP.
“This can be a safe place in the home at least 1.5 metres from the ground out of sight and reach of children. When travelling or out and about, always pay attention to where you put your handbag or backpack if you’re carrying medicines.”
“Children are naturally curious and can easily swallow medicine left within their reach. Medicine not meant for them, possibly taken in multiple doses, can have frightening effects on their little bodies.”
“If a child has accidently taken medicine, it’s important to act quickly by contacting a healthcare professional or the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26,” she says.
NPS MedicineWise has more information on giving medicines to children.
For more information on prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines (herbal, ‘natural’, vitamins and minerals) from a health professional, call NPS Medicines Line on 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424) for the cost of a local call (calls from mobiles may cost more). Hours of operation are Monday–Friday 9am–5pm AEST (excluding public holidays).
*Galaxy poll of 1015 adults conducted in July 2018 for NPS MedicineWise.
Spokespeople are available for media interviews.