The Up and Away campaign—led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) PROTECT Initiative—is providing families with five important spring cleaning tips for household health and safety.
“Spring cleaning can be a big part of keeping your family healthy and safe at home, and that means doing more than dusting and vacuuming,” said Dr. Dan Budnitz, Director of the Medication Safety Program at CDC and coordinator of the PROTECT Initiative, which focuses on children’s medication safety. “Every year, approximately 60,000 young children end up in the emergency room due to accidental medicine ingestions, so as you’re cleaning and reorganizing areas like bathrooms and medicine cabinets, remember to safely store medicines you are using and safely dispose of medicines that you are not.”
The Up and Away campaign urges families to follow these five tips to keep their children safe and healthy:
- Clean surfaces. Disinfect surfaces and objects that are touched often, like countertops, doorknobs, keyboards, faucet handles, phones, and toys.
- Store safely. When you’re done cleaning and reorganizing, store everything you wouldn’t want your kids to get into, like cleaning products and medicines, in a safe spot up and away and out of sight and reach of young children. Remember to put medicines back in their safe place after you use them every time.
- Dispose safely. Dispose of any expired, unused, or unwanted medicines in your home. Make sure to follow recommendations for safe disposal to prevent exposures to medications that have been discarded. Consider bringing expired or unwanted medications to medicine take-back programs.
- Be prepared. Check your first aid kit for expired medicines and supplies; medicines that are past their expiration dates may not work as well as they should. Make sure your first aid kit is stored in a location that is accessible to adults, but not to your young children.
- Update your contacts. Make sure you have the Poison Help number stored in your cell phone and available to your children’s caregivers: 800-222-1222.
Additional resources on safe medicine storage are available at UpandAway.org.