Dangers Lurking in Your Medicine Cabinet

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Every household has a medicine cabinet. It’s filled with bottles of Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, bandages and anything else you may need for a variety of illnesses. But, do you ever wonder what dangers are lurking in your own medicine cabinet — dangers that could do much more harm than good? Here are some very important things to consider:

Expired or Recalled Meds

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to a screaming child with a fever. You reach into the medicine cabinet only to find that your only bottle of children’s ibuprofen is expired. Or, with all the newly recalled medications out there, you wonder if your bottle is on the list. Do you really want to be looking up your medication on the computer when you’ve got a sick, burning up child on your hands? No way!

That is why you need to update your medicine cabinet NOW. Look for bottles that are expired and check to see of any of your meds have been recalled. For instance, did you know that Johnson & Johnson recalled approximately 4.8 million packages of Children’s Benadryl and 800,000 bottles of junior-strength Motrin just last November??

So, as you can see, it’s important to protect your family from possible harmful side-effects by keeping your meds up to date.

Child-Proof? I Think Not!

Children seem to be getting smarter and smarter these days. I recently heard a mom complain about witnessing her three-year-old daughter skillfully opening up a "child-proof" bottle of Tylenol! Can you imagine your toddlers being able to open up those bottles in your medicine cabinet! There are some very lethal combinations in there.

One out every 180 two-year-olds visits an emergency room because of accidental poisoning from a medication, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accidental poisoning happens, but don’t allow it to happen to you. Since kids can outsmart child-proof bottles, find a way to lock up your meds because it could save your child’s life!

Teens & Drugs

Toddlers aren’t the only ones who can get hurt when it comes to your medicine cabinet. Teens are increasingly using prescription drugs and over the counter meds to get high. You name it — Vicodin, Valium, even cough syrup. According to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, next to marijuana, prescription meds are the most commonly abused drugs by teens aged 12-17.

How can you make sure your teens aren’t using these drugs to get high? Talk to them openly and honestly about the dangers of drugs. And, again, lock those meds up!

Medicine Cabinet Essentials

It’s important to keep your medicine cabinet stocked at all times. You shouldn’t have to make a trip to the 24-hour pharmacy when your kid gets sick at an inconvenient time.

Here’s a handy list of medicine cabinet must-haves: adhesive tape, alcohol wipes, analgesics for pain, antacids for upset stomachs, antibiotic ointment, antihistamines for allergy symptoms, bandages, mentholated chest rub, antiseptic, disposable hot wrap and refreezable ice pack, decongestant for stuffy nose and cold symptoms, fever reducers, gauze pads, hydrocortisone for itching and inflammation, syrup of ipecac and activated charcoal, a thermometer, and tweezers.

Keeping all these essentials in one place can save you time and stress when the need arises.
 

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