Children are vulnerable to serious illness or death if they accidentally find and ingest medicine or drugs. To help parents and guardians keep children safe from accidental ingestion, the Philadelphia Department of Human Services, in partnership with the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health have created a new information campaign about keeping medicines and drugs up and out of reach of children. 

When you have substances in your home, follow these tips to  keep your young ones safe:

  • Keep medicines, paraphernalia, and other hazardous materials up and away.  If at all possible, keep them in cabinets that can be locked or child-proofed with latches. If locks are not easily available, make sure they are placed inside cabinets and drawers and not out in the open. Be sure to put medicines away after using them. 
  • Talk with your children. Have these conversations with children about medicines and drugs. Understanding how something can be harmful will help kids stay safe.
  • Ask others to help keep your home safe. When babysitters, extended family, and friends come over, ask that they keep medicine safely stored in their bags, or outside of the home.  

When drugs and other substances are in the home, they present a risk to children. This is true of over-the-counter, legally prescribed, and illegal substances. Opioids can be especially dangerous. Opioids should stay their original packaging and be stored  out of reach of children in a locked cabinet or lockbox whenever possible. Together, we can keep our kids safe!

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