Around half of all Australian households are likely to have insecurely stored medicine that could prove dangerous to children.
Around half of all Australian households are likely to have insecurely stored medicine that could prove dangerous to children.

Out of reach: Hide your medicines from the grandkids

HAVE you got the grandchildren coming to visit this summer? Then it's time to check the medicine cabinet is secured from small hands.

According to a Galaxy survey, around half of all Australian households are likely to have insecurely stored medicine that could prove dangerous to children.

"It's important to always keep medicine in a safe place," NPS Medicine Wise Medical Adviser and GP, Dr Jill Thistlethwaite, said.

"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."

The survey, conducted by NPS Medicine Wise, found children accessed non-prescribed medicines in the bedroom (18 percent), in the kitchen or lounge room (18 percent) or the fridge (14 percent).

Dr Thistlethwaite warned grandparents to treat medicines like the old saying: 'out of sight, out of mind'.

"This can be a safe place in the home at least 1.5 metres from the ground out of sight and reach of children," she said.

"When travelling or out and about, always pay attention to where you put your handbag or backpack if you're carrying medicines."

However, if the worst should happen, Dr Thistlethwaite said to immediately seek help.

"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."

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).


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