CDC and Up and Away Campaign Urge Parents to Keep Medicine Stored Out of Sight to Avoid “Candy Confusion” this Halloween

The Up and Away campaign, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is reminding parents to keep their medicines up and away and out of sight and reach to avoid ‘candy confusion’ this Halloween season. The National Retail Federation (NRF) projects consumers will spend over $9 billion celebrating Halloween this year, which is right in line with last year’s record-breaking spend. In total, 70 percent of celebrants will be handing out treats and will spend $2.6 billion on candy alone.

With this widely celebrated holiday approaching, it’s important for parents and caregivers of young children to be extra vigilant about safe medicine storage, so kids don’t mistake medicines for a sweet treat.

“With Halloween just around the corner, it can be easy for young ones to mistake medicine left out on the countertop for candy,” said 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.”

Every year, about 60,000 young children end up in the emergency room after getting into medicines left within their reach. The Up and Away campaign aims to prevent accidental unsupervised ingestions of medicine in young children by educating parents and caregivers about safe medicine storage. One of the Up and Away campaign partners, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) Educational Foundation, created this printable infographic and short video for parents to illustrate the visual similarities between some medicines and favorite candies, and the confusion that can ensue for children. Up and Away materials are also available in both English and Spanish, which can be found here.

The CDC and Up and Away urge parents to be prepared by saving the Poison Help number in their phones—1-800-222-1222—or texting “POISON” to 797979 to save the information automatically. Additional resources on safe medicine storage are available at

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