It’s the time of year where ghouls, monsters, and super heroes go door-to-door asking for candy. Help keep all our trick-or-treaters safe this year from accidental poisoning. Many medications found in homes can easily be mistaken for candy. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, nearly 60,000 young children, or about four busloads of kids per day, are seen at emergency rooms because they got into medicine[i].
Make your Halloween as fun and safe as possible by ensuring all medications are safely secured, or clean out your medicine cabinet and properly dispose of any unused, leftover, or expired medications by:
- Taking them back to a Nebraska MEDS participating pharmacy. Every day is take-back day in Nebraska! There are over 320 participating pharmacies across the state that will safely dispose of unwanted medications year-round, keeping them from falling into the wrong hands and out of our waterways. Find a participating pharmacy near you at www.leftovermeds.com.
- Taking them back during the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on October 26, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Find a collection site at www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback.
Along with properly disposing of unused or expired medications, follow these recommendations from Safe Kids Worldwide[ii] to prevent accidental poisoning from medications:
- Keep medicine and vitamins out of children’s reach and sight, even those you take every day.
- Remember to keep visitors’ purses, bags, and coats out of reach, in case they contain medication.
- Child-resistant packaging is not childproof, so keep all medication stored securely away immediately after every use.
- Save the Poison Help number in your phone and have it easily accessible at home in case of emergencies – 1-800-222-1222.
- Never call medicine “candy.”
Since the Nebraska MEDS Initiative went statewide in 2016, over 100,000 pounds of medication have been collected by Nebraska pharmacies for proper disposal.