(StatePoint) This Halloween, families are projected to spend $2.6 billion on candy this year, according to the National Retail Federation. Unfortunately, Halloween can quickly go from spooky to scary with precautions that start right in your own home when it comes to medicine safety.
To avoid ‘candy confusion’—especially with little ones preparing to trick-or-treat—the Up and Away campaign, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is reminding parents and caregivers of young children to be extra vigilant about safe medicine storage, so kids don’t mistake medicines for a sweet treat. Medications and candy often look, smell and taste alike – making it tough for kids to tell the difference between a gummi bear and multivitamin, or an Altoid and aspirin.
Every year, about 60,000 young children in the U.S. end up in the emergency room after accidentally getting into medicines left within their reach.
“With Halloween just around the corner, it can be easy for young ones to mistake medicine left out on the counter for candy,” says Dan Budnitz, director of the Medication Safety Program at CDC and manager of its PROTECT Initiative. “With this in mind, it’s important that parents and guardians remember to safely store and keep medicines up and away, and out of sight and reach, from children.”
The Up and Away campaign aims to prevent accidental, unsupervised ingestion of medicine by educating parents and caregivers about safe medicine storage. For a safe Halloween season, they are advising parents and guardians to follow these tips:
• As tempting as this can be, never refer to medicine as candy when giving to your child.
• Make sure all medicines are stored safely, up and away and out of sight. This includes at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, too. Nearly one in five grandparents store their over-the-counter medicines in easy to access places. Remind grandparents and babysitters to take the same precautions.
• Be prepared by saving the Poison Help number in your phone—1-800-222-1222—or text “POISON” to 797979 to save the information automatically.
• Find more information and tips on safe medicine storage by visiting UpandAway.org.
This Halloween and year-round, help avoid “candy confusion” by always storing medicine out of reach.