Safety Practices for Your Medicine Cabinet

Having a medicine cabinet is great for keeping medication at home. When we are sick, the last thing we want to do is go to the drug store for some over-the-counter relief. We’d much rather have the medication we need on hand. But, there’s just one problem. We all keep some medicines in our homes, which are dangerous if taken unnecessarily. So, how does one keep the medicines in their home safe from the sticky fingers of toddlers (or others)? The following are some tips to keep your medicine cabinet safe.
Safety Practices for Your Medicine Cabinet Image

Where to Keep the Medicine Cabinet?

Most people keep their medication in a cabinet, and prefer keeping their medicine cabinet in the bathroom. But, doing that can easily make your medicine degrade faster with time due to moisture. Another option is the bedroom which could be a safer location. It is important to remember that medication should always be stored in a cool and dry place. Furthermore, you should always store your medicine cabinet where there is ample light so that you are able to see the medication which you are taking.

Medicine Cabinet Safety For:

Children

Children are curious by nature. Young kids can often times be seen wandering around the house, and their explorations sometimes take them to places that are unsafe, even if they are in the confines of their home. In 2012, medicine poisoning was the cause of nearly 64,000 children being rushed to the emergency room in the US.

This should be reason enough for parents to keep medication out of reach. To start, you should always check to see if there is no way for kids to get to the medicine cabinet. Children have a knack for getting into areas which at first seems unreachable, so it is important to keep this fact in mind while you are child proofing your medicine cabinet. Remember, children climb all the time. Also, using a sturdy lock for your medicine cabinet is a good idea to keep little climbers out of cabinets.

Child Resistant Packaging

Nowadays most medicines come in some sort of bottle or container that have child-locked caps. But, if the medication you buy is not in a childproof container, you can easily buy one from your local drug store. You should also make sure to transfer the label and all related information regarding the medication to the new container. Even with childproof caps on your medications, there is no guarantee of safety. Think of childsafe containers as a means to slow down a child’s progress into a bottle, not a failsafe method for keeping them out.

Emergency Numbers

Always keep emergency numbers inside your medicine cabinet, and include the numbers of the poison control center and your pediatrician.

Elderly

Protecting your aging loved ones in regards to their medication can prove challenging and may even be overlooked. It is important to note that forgetfulness is a big part of aging, especially in those who suffer from Dementia or Alzheimer’s, which can make things even more complicated.

To curb this problem you could consider purchasing a weekly medication box, and use labels for each day of the week, along with compartments for morning and night doses. You can use these tips to organize the medication of elderly family members.

Medication Cabinet Safety From Thieves

It is an amazing fact that nearly 51% of domestic burglaries in the U.S. are committed to acquire drugs. Keeping your prescription drugs or painkillers safe by locking them up in a medicine cabinet will keep them from falling into the wrong hands, and save you the cost of having to replace them.

You can also use security technology to really make sure that your medicine stays out of reach. There are special sensors that are available which helps a person monitor access to the medicine cabinet. These sensors automatically notify you if your medicine cabinet has been opened by an exploring child or an experimenting teen, or thief. The alerts are sent straight to your smartphone, laptop or PC so you can always remain aware of what’s going on in your home when you’re not around.

Medicine Cabinet Inventory

To create an inventory for your medicine cabinet, first of all, you will need to list the names and strength of every prescription and non-prescription medication that you have stored in the medicine cabinet. Also, include the date filled, along with the expiration date and quantity. To be extra certain that your medicine cabinet hasn’t had any unwelcome visitors, you can count the remaining pills once a week and mark the date.

Disposal of Unused or Out-Of-Date Medications

According to the FDA, unneeded medications should not be saved. Instead dispose of them properly through you local medication disposal program. Doing this will reduce the possibility of misuse and harm to children and elderly.

For medication take-back programs in your area you may check with you local police department. Often times pharmacies, hospitals have such a program. You may also visit the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) Website for more information on drug disposal and to locate an authorized collector in your community.

Another option is to contact the waste management authority for information and guidelines on proper medication disposal for your area.

Your local police department is best place to find out about medication disposal options and guidelines in your community.

Ending Note

These simple steps can be just what the doctor ordered and will make sure that your medicine cabinet remains secure. For ideas for your bathroom design and safety tips, follow us on FacebookPinterest and Twitter.

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