Whether we’re entering a New Year or new season, this time often signals a fresh start to many things in life — from wellness to organization. Making sure your home medicine cabinet is up-to-date and ready for life’s minor emergencies should be one of them, advised Akron Children’s Pediatrician Megan Litman, MD.
“We recommend parents and caregivers take a look at medicine cabinets each year to make sure they have the right products and tools on hand so they can act quickly and confidently to situations,” said Dr. Litman of Akron Children’s Pediatrics, Streetsboro. “It’s important to check product expiration dates and keep track of how many pills are in containers to ensure kids aren’t coming into contact with medicines without permission. Keep prescription medications in a different location altogether to avoid confusion or accidental usage during an emergency.”
Dr. Litman also notes that kids can be clever climbers, so placing a medicine cabinet and its contents up high isn’t enough. For safety, medicine cabinets should always be locked using a safety latch. She also recommends keeping these numbers near the phone and medicine cabinet in case of an emergency:
- Call 911 for medical, fire and police assistance
- Poison-control center number: 1-800-222-1222
- Pediatrician and/or primary care number
- Parents’ work and/or mobile numbers
- Neighbor’s or nearby relative’s number (if you need someone to watch other kids in an emergency)
While having the essentials ready to aid in minor injuries and illnesses is important, preventing them — by being aware of potential dangers and being present — is the best line of defense. Keeping up with public health measures — good hand hygiene, covering coughs or sneezes in the elbow, and staying home when sick — also helps families avoid illness, such as RSV and the flu.