Young children are at unprecedented risk for accidental medicine ingestion during summer vacation

The Up and Away campaign, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is reminding parents and caretakers to keep their medicines up and away and out of sight and reach this travel season and always. AAA projects that 100 million Americans will pack up and hit the road this year for summer vacations, and data from AARP shows us that a majority of these families will travel with grandparents or to grandparents' homes. This year, there are more grandparents than ever in the United States, up 24% since the turn of the century, according to AARP. With nearly three out of four older adults taking either an over-the-counter or prescription medicine, young children are at an unprecedented risk for accidental medicine ingestion.

In the midst of this year's busy summer travel season, it's important for parents and caregivers of young children to be extra vigilant about safe medicine storage when traveling or visiting, so curious kids don't find things they shouldn't. We also urge grandparents to remain mindful of where they keep their medicines when spending time with young grandchildren."

Dan Budnitz, M.D., director of the Medication Safety Program at CDC and a leader of its PROTECT Initiative

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 ingestions of medicine in young children by educating parents and caregivers about safe medicine storage. A printable tip sheet for parents and caregivers when traveling is available in English and Spanish.

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


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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