As a mom, you always want to keep your young children safe from the various dangers that are out there in the world. That’s why you keep a close eye on them when they’re on the playground or even running around the backyard.
As your kids get a little older, though, they start to be more autonomous. That’s supposed to happen, and as a mother, you should feel happy watching their first steps and their curious exploring.
However, you need to be careful that they don’t get their hands on anything that could harm them. That includes adult prescription drugs that you might keep in the medicine cabinet or elsewhere.
Let’s talk about some drug safety measures that you can take, which should put you at ease.
Keep Potentially Dangerous Drugs Out of Their Hands
When it comes to possibly dangerous drugs, keeping them out of the way is your best option if you have adventurous kids who like getting into everything. You might feel like if you keep your meds in a bathroom medicine cabinet, then your toddler probably can’t get to them.
That may not always be true, though. They might:
- Push a chair into the bathroom and stand on it, accessing the cabinet that way
- Climb up on the bathroom counter to gain access
You might consider keeping your meds somewhere more secure than the cabinet. You could also install a lock on it and keep the key somewhere safe.
You can also speak to your kids about drug dangers as their language skills improve. You don’t need to be harsh with them. Just be very upfront about staying away from the cabinet. Tell them they can let you know if they need something from there.
What Drugs are Dangerous for Kids?
There are several adult drugs that you should keep away from your kids since they can damage themselves severely if they take them. Some examples are:
- Oral diabetes medications
- Blood pressure and heart medications
The oral diabetes meds that moms should keep away from their kids include Metaglip, Glucovance, DiaBeta, and Amaryl. With opioids, keep a close watch over things like Oxycontin, Vicodin, Opana, and Percocet. Keep blood pressure meds like Tenex, Toprol XL, and Tenormin away from children as well.
Doctors say that all of these are particularly dangerous for younger kids. You can even crawl around on the floor to see if there is anything at eye level you missed when securing your house or apartment.
Watch Your Kids When You Visit Other Homes
It’s often not enough to keep your prescription meds away from your kids when you’re at home. You should also watch your children when you go to visit someone else.
For instance, if you visit the children’s grandparents, they might have meds in their bathroom cabinets. Again, you’ll want to talk to your kids about how it’s never okay to sample any of the drugs they find.
Watch for Prescription Drug Abuse in Older Kids as Well
It’s one thing to keep your prescription drugs away from your kids when they’re toddlers or get to grade-school age. You should also know, though, that pre-teens and teenagers can abuse prescription drugs.
Of the various drugs that they might use, opioids are probably the most popular. Teens can use them to get high, especially things like Oxycontin and Vicodin.
Doctors are a lot more careful about prescribing these meds than they used to be. Twenty years ago, medical professionals prescribed them widely, before doctors understood how dangerous and addictive they are.
These days, as a mom, what it makes sense to do is to dispose of any opioids that you have leftover if you get a prescription. Maybe you had oral surgery or something along those lines and they prescribed you some pain meds.
You can get rid of these excess drugs by crushing them up or mixing them with something like old coffee grounds or kitty litter. Then, you can throw them out with the household trash.
Keep an Eye on Your Child’s Friends
One last thing you can do is meet your child’s friends that they bring home from school or around the neighborhood. Do they make a bad impression on you? They might root through your medicine cabinet to look for drugs.
This is another instance where you will want to get rid of any excess dangerous prescriptions or keep your cabinet locked and hide the key somewhere safe.
*photo credit Andrea Piacquadio