California Poison Control offers these medication safety tips

Did you know 70 percent of child emergency room visits are due to accidental intake of parents’ medicine?

All medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter, can be dangerous and have serious side effects if not taken as directed, taken by the wrong person, stored improperly or not disposed of safely. Also, using medicines for non-medical reasons can lead to a substance use disorder, illness, or even death.

California Poison Control (offers the following tips for medication safety|
Taking medicine safely
• Read all labels and follow directions.
• Take the right amount of medicine at the right time. Check with your doctor before taking herbal supplements or vitamins. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, check with your doctor before taking any medicine.

Storing and disposing of medicine safely
• Store medicine in a locked cabinet, out of sight, and reach of children. Keep all medicine in their original container with child-resistant caps.
• Remember, child-resistant caps are not child-proof. After each use, make sure the medicine cap is on tight, and return it to a locked cabinet.
• Follow directions on the medicine label and check for the expiration date. Safely dispose of all medicines that are expired or not being used.
• Do not throw medicine in the trash or down the toilet unless instructed to do so on the medicine label.
Find a safe medicine disposal site near you
• Preventing medicine poisoning. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions, each year nearly 70 percent of children ages 1- to 2-years-old who go to the emergency room found, ate or drank a medicine when an adult wasn’t watching.

Prevent poisoning from medicine for both children and adults
• Do not take medicine when children are watching.
• Do not call medicine candy in front of children.
• Do not take medicine in the dark, where you cannot clearly see the medicine and its container.
• Never take any medicine that was not prescribed to you.
• Never share your medicine with anyone else.

About CPCS
Call Poison Control at (800) 222-1222 (number is the same in all states) for questions about poison encounters. Trained pharmacists, nurses and other providers are available to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service is free, confidential and interpreters are available. Get weekly tips about safety by texting TIPS to 20121 for English or texting PUNTOS to 20121 for Spanish. Follow CPCS on Facebookand on Twitter @poisoninfo. CPCS is part of the University of California San Francisco School of Pharmacy and is responsible to the California Emergency Medical Services Authority.