June is National Safety Month: Here’s how to avoid medication accidents


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – June is National Safety Month, which encourages people and organizations to make efforts in reducing unintentional injury and death. For National Safety Month, we’re focusing on medication safety.

According to the CDC, thousands of emergency room visits happen every year after a young child takes a medication when an adult isn’t looking. Around 50,000 emergency room visits every year are the result of unintentional medication overdoses from children under the age of five.

“Keep them out of reach of anyone who they’re not intended for,” Owner and pharmacy manager of Lewis & Clark Pharmacy, Dr. Kara James said.

To safely store your medication, the CDC recommends picking a spot in your home that children can’t reach or see. And never leave medication out, like next to a child’s bed, even if you have to give it again in a few hours.

Dr. James advises “a cabinet that is safe from children, so something raised up, not necessarily near the stove in the kitchen.” That’s because storing your medication near the stove or any hot area can potentially make it less effective due to the heat.

“Definitely ask to speak directly to your pharmacist because we definitely can guide you on a safe way on where you can store those medications,” Dr. James said.

Additionally, watch out for dangerous drug interactions. Drug interactions may make your medicine less effective, cause unexpected side effects, or increase the action of a particular drug. For example, you should not mix allergy medication, or antihistamines and alcohol, as it could cause increased drowsiness.

Reading the label every time you use a medication and taking the time to learn about drug interactions may be critical to your health.

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