Caretaking for Loved Ones: A Health and Medical Blog

Over-the-Counter: Protecting Your Child From Overdoses

The majority of Australian families keep over-the-counter medicines at home. Because these medicines can be purchased without a prescription, many people believe they can do no harm. However, some over-the-counter medication can be fatal if taken in overdose. One of primary over-the-counter medications which is a cause of fatal overdoses is paracetamol. Below is a guide to the steps you can take to keep your family safe from the risk of overdose.

Monitor the medication

Because over-the-counter medication is relatively easy to buy from an OTC pharmaceutical supplier, you may end up with several boxes of paracetamol in your home. It is a good idea to collect together all of the over-the-counter medication in your home so you can place it in a secure box or medicine cabinet. Ideally, this box or cabinet should be fitted with a lock and key. By keeping a close eye on the amount of medication you place in storage, you can easily keep track of how many paracetamol tablets your family are consuming.

Educate your children

Children who are old enough to feel they can self-medicate are at a high risk of accidental overdose. As your child is growing up, you should make a special effort to explain to them the important role medication can play in their recovery from pain and illness while also impressing upon them how careful they should be before taking any form of medication. While you need to keep medicine secure, you also need to let your children see it in a controlled way. The last thing you want is for medication to come to be the forbidden fruit in the garden, as this will encourage your child to seek out the pills and tablets. By talking to your child, you can instil a healthy respect for over-the-counter medication.

Dispose of old medication properly

Finally, if you discover that over-the-counter medication has passed its sell-by-date, you should take steps to ensure it is disposed of properly. You should never leave old tablets lying around or place them into a rubbish bin where there is every chance a child will find them. Instead, you should take any old medication down to your local pharmacy so it can be destroyed.

If you would like further advice on how best to store over-the-counter medication, you should contact a medical supplier today. A trained member of the team will be able to offer you lots of help and advice.