BabyGaga had a chance to speak with Safe Rx’s president and CEO Milton Cohen about the importance of baby-proofing medication.
The good thing is that there is a company out there that is helping parents keep their children from accidentally ingesting any medicine that they should not have access to. That company is Safe Rx, and they have created a Locking Pill Bottle, according to safe-rx.com. Also, this company has been named a 2020 Colorado Company to Watch. BabyGaga recently got the chance to speak with the company’s president and CEO Milton Cohen about how parents can keep their medication secure while kids are spending more time at home during the pandemic.
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Kirstie Landry for Babygaga (BG): The locking pill bottles were created with the goal of fighting the opioid epidemic. How are children affected by this epidemic?
Milton Cohen (C): Despite their benefits, prescription medications in the wrong hands can be dangerous. Toddlers and young kids are curious – and feel the need to explore every new object they find, from the contents of a purse or backpack to a cell phone, toilet paper, and small bottles with round objects that make noise when you shake them (similar to a rattle they might play with). Child-resistant caps just aren’t cutting it anymore, as researchers have found that children are getting increasingly adept at opening child-resistant caps. Virtually all (90%) child poisonings occur at home, and some prescriptions can contain a lethal amount of chemicals in just a single pill. Locking up your pills and storing them out of sight and out of reach are critical parts of any family’s medicine safety protocol.
BG: Are there any psychological effects to children seeing their parents frequently take opioids?
C: As I am not a health professional, I encourage you to visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse website for information on this question.
BG: Statistically speaking, how many children accidentally ingest medications from the medicine cabinets in their homes each year?
C: According to Safe Kids Worldwide, nearly 60,000 U.S. children are accidentally poisoned by medication every year. Additionally, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, 57% of pediatric poisoning fatalities were from accidental or unintentional access to drugs and supplements in the home.
BG: Can you tell us about Safe Rx’s locking pill bottles and how they help with this goal?
C: The Safe Rx Locking Pill Bottle is a patented, physician-developed, child-resistant and senior-friendly certified safe storage solution with a combination lock for medication. They work much like a regular combination lock you’d purchase for your bike or for a locker. The pill bottles provide an additional layer of security in preventing medicine from getting into the wrong hands.
BG: On top of having specialized pill bottles, what other measures can parents take to make sure that their toddlers do not ingest medications that could be harmful to them? Where in the house is the optimal place to store medications so that toddlers can’t get to them?
C: Store medications out of reach and out of sight – like a high cabinet in a bathroom or kitchen. If toddlers don’t see the prescription drug containers, they won’t think to play with it. If a high cabinet is not an option, secure medicine by locking it up in a locked cabinet or safe.
BG: How do you think COVID-19 has impacted medication security in the homes of those who have children?
C: Families are spending more time at home – and likely multi-tasking throughout the day to juggle work, virtual school, home obligations, childcare and more. The most important thing to remember is to not leave medicines lying around. This is a common mistake many parents make: they take a pill and then leave the container out, most likely in a rush to the next to-do item. Don’t leave medicines out on the kitchen counters or by your child’s bedside in the case it’s your child’s prescription drugs.
It’s important to always maintain control over the access and administration of medical prescriptions. Always put them away, either in a medicine safe, using Safe Rx’s Locking Pill Bottles, in a locked cabinet, or someplace else kids cannot get them. That said, locking pill bottles offer an additional layer of security in keeping medicine out of the wrong hands.
BG: What should a parent do if their child has accidentally ingested medicine that can be harmful for them?
C: Call 911 and/or take them to the nearest emergency room. Parents can also contact Poison Control for help and advice by calling 1-800-222-1222 or visiting www.poison.org.
BG: How should parents teach medication safety to their young ones?
C: It’s important for parents to always be honest with their kids about the danger of taking medical prescriptions, especially medical prescriptions that are for adults. Always call it medicine (not candy or another parent-coined term), explain its uses (when you are sick or to treat certain conditions), and explain only adults are allowed to administer medicine to children.
You should also explain the potential harm medical prescriptions not meant for them can do to children. You don’t want to scare kids, but you do want to put a strong enough emphasis on the fact that a medication is only meant for the person a doctor prescribed it to and that bad things can happen by taking medical prescriptions that a doctor has not told them to take.
Milton Cohen, thank you for speaking with us and shedding some light on the importance of medication safety during the pandemic.
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Sources: EurekAlert!, Safe Kids Worldwide, Poison Control, NIH, Familydoctor.org, Safe Rx, Taylor & Francis Online
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